Woomera Detention Centre - Good Friday breakout 29 March 2002
A prisoner jumps for joy after escaping the concentration camp. This man was recaptured soon after, and now faces a prison sentence for escaping lawful custody. Unlike Woomera, prisoners in mainstream prisons have access to legal representation, education, English and visitors, as mainstream prisons are not located in remote deserts, as most detention centres are.
A policeman is persuaded not to re-arrest an escaped protester. About 30 protesters were later arrested for aiding the escape of detainees. None were arrested during the action at the compound.
When the SA police finally bring in their horses, they manage to get control of the situation and prevent more escapes. 50 prisoners have so far escaped the concentration camp.
36 are recaptured or give themselves up within the next 24 hours. 12 manage to escape recapture and are assumed to have made it to Capital Cities. While life in Australia without official status might be extremely difficult for the escapees, many of them regard it as a far better than life inside Woomera or in the countries they have come from. Most of the detainees inside Woomera face deportation to Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Australian government has supported the US Government's description of these countries as 'an axis of evil'. Refugees who attempt to escape this so named evil are themselves labelled as evil and denied any legitimacy by both of the major political parties in Australia.
The escaped detainees who have been recaptured face either prison sentences and/or deportation.