UN Observers need to be stationed at all Australian Detention Centres. Asylum Seekers punished at Christmas Island.

The Human Rights Alliance Media Release:


Overnight the Christmas Island Detention Centre roof protest escalated with the response a severe lockdown. Christmas Island Detention Centre is now as bad as Woomera and Baxter. UN Observers must be located in these unlawful Detention Centres.

The Christmas Island roof top protest unnecessarily escalated and once again there was no appropriate de-escalation, mitigation or humanity.

These reoccurrences of roof top protests are treated as matter of fact and is if there is a state of war, a them verse us, and this is discriminatory and racism.

The response by authorities has been severe lockdown, which is an outright human rights abuse and proves the prison mentality and concentration camp like conditions.

At Christmas Island's White One compound Asylum Seekers protested against the unchecked authoritarian conditions by their oppressors who in an unlawful human rights abuse locked up one of their fellow Asylum Seekers from White One compound in the 'feared' high security Red One compound. They are appalled that 'Australia is in many ways no better' - and they did not risk their lives on the high seas to come to a country to experience this sort of treatment and persecution.

Red One compound is, unbelievably, considered as a behavioural management unit, something out of Kafka, quite Orwelllian or what you'd read about in Mao's China.

The Red One compound is operated by a British Serco squad facilitating forced deportations. This is Gulag stuff. Where are the public complaints mechanisms and tribunals for our Asylum Seekers?

As unlawful Australia's 24 Detention Centres are, it is now self evident that the United Nations must locate observers at every Detention Centre in Australia, and especially at Christmas Island and Darwin. Even better, close them down and regain some humanity and some pride in being Australian.

The Australian Government is conflicted and cannot be trusted. The Australian Government is party to human rights abuses.

Christmas Island and Darwin are as bad as Woomera and Baxter, and we have returned to the worst of times and conditions.

Situational tensions are escalating in both Christmas Island and Darwin and instead of the various authorities underwriting a common good approach with various mitigation we have the abominable predetermination to lockdowns, to attrition, to the clandestine, and to a readiness for force that includes tear gas, rubber bullets and other violence.

Gerry Georgatos Convenor, Human Rights Alliance,
PhD Law Researcher, Australian Deaths in Custody

CONTACT: Gerry Georgatos - 0430 657 309 - gerry_georgatos@yahoo.com.au

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A major protest, involving a large number of asylum seekers has broken out at the main Christmas Island detention centre overnight, starting around 10pm (Tuesday 19 July) Christmas Island time.

From reports from inside the detention centre, doors between the compounds have been broken open allowing detainees to move freely between the various compounds. A number of small fires have been set. Serco officers have withdrawn from the compounds.

Around midnight Christmas Island time, a small number of police fired tear gas inside the compounds.

Some asylum seekers have again taken to the roof to protest.

The major protest follows a series of smaller roof-top protests, and the lock down of the detention centre over the past week or so.

“Tensions have been high since the March protests. People feel that nothing’s changed and they have no alternative but to protest,” said Ian Rintoul, a spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Self-harm incidents are daily events as despairing asylum seekers reach the end of their tether. People are still waiting for months for decisions despite Immigration department promises after the March protests, that processing would be sped up and all those waiting for security clearances would be finalised by the end of April.

“Christmas Island has become a symbol of the government’s broken system of detention. It has become a hell-hole every bit as bad as Woomera, Port Hedland and Baxter under the Howard government. In March, refugee advocates proposed human rights observers be placed on Christmas Island, but the government ignored that suggestion.

“It is way beyond time for all asylum seekers to be brought to the mainland. The government should put an end to off-shore processing and close Christmas Island should be closed,” said Rintoul.

Meanwhile the roof top protest at Darwin detention centre continued.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713