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no, these images do not show a “prison” built for the unvaccinated

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Since being posted on Twitter on November 11, this prison video has been viewed more than 150,000 times. But contrary to some misleading claims, these buildings were not built to incarcerate unvaccinated Australians. It is in fact a detention center whose last modifications were made long before the discovery of Covid-19.

“Quarantine facilities built for the unvaccinated.” According to this video posted on November 11 on Twitter by the anti-sanitary account @Resist_05, the Australian government would build a real prison in order to incarcerate the unvaccinated. These images of fences accompanied by horrified comments exceeded 100,000 views in less than a day and were also distributed by French-speaking accounts. But if they were taken in Brisbane, Australia, they actually show the extension of a detention center built long before the start of the Covid-19 epidemic.

This video posted by @Resist_05 does not show a quarantine center. 11/15/21. © The Observers

Find the detention center

To find out which place this publication really corresponds to, you must above all take the time to listen to the sound. Several geographical indications can thus be identified. Some are pronounced by the person behind the camera who indicates being “near the airport” in “Brisbane”, others correspond to the sound environment which provides information in particular on the proximity of a rather busy road.

Screenshot of Google Maps search for ‘Brisbane Detention’, from November 12. © Observers

However, on Google Maps, the search for “Brisbane Detention” gives four results, only one of which is located not far from an airport: the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation Center. To verify that this detention center for migrants is the building filmed, it is possible to use satellite images.

Google Earth offers photographs of the detention center dating from November 2021. There are several clues corresponding to the images broadcast by @Resist_05. These include the layout of the two outdoor basketball courts, the metal ventilation duct running around a building, and the two awnings located near one of the courts. All these elements are exactly those present on the video. The Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation Center is therefore the building filmed from the path between the fences and Lomandra Drive.

Comparison of clues present on the video and the satellite image

An extension built for quarantine?

Once the location has been identified, it is then possible to verify whether the constructions filmed would have been added there to incarcerate unvaccinated Australians. To do this, you must use the Google Earth history. We then notice that the buildings in question did not exist in October 2017 and appear for the first time on the images dated May 2019 (no image of the center is available between these two dates). These extensions were therefore added before the start of the Covid-19 epidemic and cannot have been built for quarantine purposes.

Comparison of satellite images from 2017 and 2019

Beyond these images, this conclusion can also be confirmed thanks to the site, on which are published all the contracts made by the Australian government. It includes a call for tenders published on May 3, 2017 with the aim of building an extension of the detention center and new infrastructure, thus increasing its capacity by 50 inmates. An order which seems to correspond to the new buildings that appeared between 2017 and 2019. Above all, the most recent call for tenders for the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation Center dates from August 2019 and concerns, among other things, the installation of anti- escalation. Here again, these dates make it possible to affirm that the detention center did not undergo any modification decided after the start of the Covid-19 epidemic.

In summary

This video was filmed in Australia near Brisbane airport. But these images actually show the extension of a detention center ordered in 2017, therefore unrelated to the current health situation in the country.


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