High-risk inmates charged with terror offences will be banned from speaking Arabic during visits and phone calls in the super-maximum prison unit at NSW’s Goulburn jail, the New South Wales attorney general, Brad Hazzard, says. From Sunday, 13 inmates classified as “extreme high risk restricted” will be forced to speak English when communicating with the outside. Letters will also be required to be written in English.
Records show that among the 13 would be Omarjan Azari, 22, who was arrested in September and charged over an alleged plot to kill a random member of the public in the name of Islamic State. Mohammad Kiad, 25, and Omar al-Kutobi, 24, are also in SuperMax on terrorism charges.
Mr Hazzard said another priority was the recruitment of moderate imams and Muslim chaplains in jails. At a meeting of Corrective Service officers last month, a senior departmental official reportedly told the group that there had been “some concerns” at the teachings of some Muslim chaplains within the jails. Prayer sessions would be held in English, not Arabic.
Hazzard said he ordered the restrictions in response to the nation’s heightened terror climate. During visits, prison officers will stand within earshot of inmates and record their conversations, with the power to eject visitors if Arabic or other languages are spoken. Hazzard said that discretion could be used in some cases to allow inmates to speak another language, such as speaking to an elderly relative who did not speak English, but only if an immediate translation could be provided by an official translator.
“We don’t want to create a situation where they feel there’s no sense of humanity, because there will be,” Hazzard told News Corp.
Between 9 and 10 per cent of NSW inmates are Muslim which is three times the representation of the non-Muslim population.
Honestly, we’re through the mirror. What does humanity mean to terrorists? Nothing. If these people are communicating criminal message during visits then stop their visits. Stop the prayer sessions. After all, it is a maximum security jail. And what the hell are these people doing in our societies in the first place?