Dec 15th 2017 by Paristrife • 7 Questions • 56 Points
The conditions are horrible, the atmosphere is one of despair and desperation, basic necessities are difficult to come by and art supplies almost impossible to find.
People are often held here for years, sometimes for more than a decade, cut off from their families, from their jobs, from the world. It's especially hard during the holiday season with so many being kept from their familes, often with young kids who don't understand why daddy isn't at home.
I'm also the artist behind "Flowers For Bicutan", a fundraiser trying to supply food, medicine and legal aid to the detainees held in a third world detention center. I'll be donating artwork in exchange for donations.
Ask me about living here, about being an artist under these conditions, about the affects of "indefinite temporary detention" etc. Ask me anything.
Proof of location: https://truepic.com/search/?id=xz7ld6nn
Please note that I cannot reveal my identity as Immigration staff forbid us from using social media.
With the ban on social media, how are you able to access Reddit? And that would be the repercussions if they were to find out you’re doing this AMA?
The ban isnt a ban per se. Nothing written, no clear directive. But.. for example if you post something derogatory towards the Immigration officials on facebook, they confiscate your phone. We had one guy whose x-wife put him here. He posted his story and it got thousands of followers. She complained to Immigration. They confiscated his phone. I expect they will confiscate my phone tomorrow or later this week. Only one artist here. Your phone is your lifeline. Its communication with the outside world, family, wife or girlfriend if you have one, friends, work, attorney, bank.... Its more than that. Its our mental escape. Its movies, games whatever you need to take your mind somewhere else. For me its music, art and ebooks. We have a few paperbacks. Ive read them. Numerous times. The Koreans and Taiwanese own mp3 soundsystems so we get a half dozen compilations of their music playing. Again and again and again... There is a tv which is sometimes on for a few hours, but the guards have the controls so not useful if you dont enjoy beauty contests or local soaps. It makes a world of difference to slip on a pair of earphones, close your eyes and escape into music. Its sanity. Its a very thin thread which can help you hold on to sanity. Without a phone this place is hell.
If you don't mind me asking,
1.) what got you jailed? 2.) how long have you been there? 3.) what actions can you take to secure your release? 4.) could you contact your family? 5.) would you be able to get a public lawyer? 6.) is it near impossible to secure your release once there?
I over stayed my visa. My fault, I admit it. Ive been here for several years and since the people who reported me and then stole everything I owned upon my arrest have no doubt made a complaint against me, I cannot be released. This is the beauty of it, if you are charged with a crime you get a trial, right? You have your chance to tell your side of the story. But a complaint goes to Immigration, not through any part of the legal/judiciary system. You do NOT get to tell your side of the story without an attorney. Hard to hire an attorney when everything you own has been stolen by the people that put you here. There are public attorneys. Once a year they come here, put up a big banner, sit with a few detainees and have their pictures taken. We do not hear from them again. Various human rights groups do the same. Unfortunately Amnesty International doesnt cover "detention camps", I dont know why. I dont have any family but others do and they have limited phone access and laptop access(international law says we get unlimited access. We dont.) to contact them. We get visitors a few days a week(international law says 7 days a week. Isnt applied to us). Getting released or deported varies for every individual. Getting released requires paying bribes. Very large bribes. With no guarentee you will actually be released. We have one guy here, already spent €50k to get bail, hes "out" on bail in a criminal case. He's still here. Its a good game. Getting released if you have criminal charges against you in your own country or an influential country like the U.S. is pretty much impossible. Ive seen it done, but we're talking bribes in the €100k+ ballpark, and even then... For the rest of us getting released is a question of money. Deported may be easier. You see, they dont like to release you once youve been here, you might file charges against them. We file charges against them from inside but we arent taken to the hearings so the charges get dismissed. Another good game.