Monday, 27 August 2012

(Day 38) Hwaseong Immigration Detention Center-day 25

Lots of excitement last night after the lights went out. They put a Mongolian detainee from a different cell in solitary confinement. I guess he was suffering from alcohol withdrawal and had a bad case of DT's because he totally freaked out. For about two hours, he banged at his door then he turned to yelling, then moaning loudly, and by 2 a.m. paramedics were called in to cart him away. I'm not sure exactly what was wrong with him-- dead or alive, but he left on a stretcher. Rumour has it that he's dead. The Nigerian says foul play, blaming the guards. Whereas, I wouldn't be surprised if he killed himself simply with the way he was banging against the door. If you keep hitting your head hard enough, you'll do damage. Suffice to say, the guards aren't exactly forthcoming and the Mongols in my cell are concerned for their friend. Tensions are running high.

In other news, I keep having a reoccurring dream. Not reoccurring in the sense that the same thing happens over and over again, but reoccurring in that the same person as in it. I don't know her but she says her name is Carrie. She works at a coffee shop and she keeps inviting me to a Monday night blues jam at some bar with the name that starts with an H or she invites me to a Tuesday night wing night. She is also the single parent of a young child. I'd love to take her up on her offer, but first, it's a dream and second, I'm sort of in jail in a foreign country.

Some administrator-types came to inspect the cell and look at the damage the Mongolian did to the door. The Nigerian is convinced the guards are covering their tracks because he thinks they beat him up. I think he's paranoid. This is not North Korea or something 3rd world dictatorship. If the guards beat him, the doctor doing the autopsy will be able to tell and inquiries will be made independently. Inquiries are already being made. The other Mongolians here will also be making calls to various friends, family and embassies. You can't keep this sort of thing hidden. Besides, the guards are so afraid of human rights abuses, I hardly think they have it in them to go around killing detainees. Now, a CSI team is here taking photos and investigating. If the guards did anything wrong, these are the guys who will find out the truth.

A final thought about this poor Mongolian who died in solitary confinement. The Mongolians in my cell and a few other detainees are quick to blame the guards because the guy had a known heart condition and had repeatedly asked for help. I had to tell the fable of the boy who cried wolf and pointed out that the Mongolians themselves told the dude to stop banging on the door, and after a while we all tried to ignore him. His cries fell on deaf ears in our own cell and on speakers of his native language. We are all guilty of neglect and contributing to his death. My observations stopped any more blaming of the guards and there was silence for quite a while. Poor dude, I hope he found some peace.

I thought that since I'm not allowed to have anything with metal in it, I might be able to use oil pastels. No such luck. I'm not sure why, maybe they think I'll try to eat them in a suicide attempt or that I'll waste them by drawing on the glass...

I finally got word on why I'm not writing this from a jail cell (a cell with bars is still jail as far as I'm concerned, but I'm not "imprisoned," I'm being "detained". It sounds like the prosecutor's office actually made a reasonable decision. They decided to keep me at the detention center until I have made all my court appearances and have had all my convictions finalized. Then, they only have to send me to jail once and when I'm finished all my sentences I can finally leave the country. The only problem is waiting for the court dates... How long is that going to take!?! This could work to my advantage. I may not have to spend any time in jail if I can convince a judge to include my time here at the detention center. It's a long shot, but there is still a chance.