Human Rights Alliance media release: Chaos at Christmas Island detention, raids. Suicide threats

The Human Rights Alliance have filed submissions and calls to the UNITED NATIONS and to UN Special Investigators and Rapporteurs to call upon the Australian Government to allow for UN OBSERVERS to be stationed at Christmas Island Detention Centre, and at Darwin, Villawood and Scherger Detention Centres.

The Human Rights Alliance have filed complaints and reports to the UNITED NATIONS seeking an urgent investigation of the Christmas Island protests and the police raids and use of tear gas.

Chaos, protests, police brutality has sieged Christmas Island Detention Centre.

I cannot confirm however I believe that there are injured people under medical care and that there maybe either doctors flown in or transfer of injured people to Royal Perth Hospital.

Green Two compound sieged. Gold compound sieged, raided by police.

The Australian Federal Police who raided rooms in Gold compound have dragged Asylum Seekers, allegedly injuring some during the debacle.

The raid on the compound was unfettered lawlessness by the AFP, a never before seen public spectacle, a debacle culminated by the instructions issued to the AFP by the Minister for Immigration and the Prime Minister.

Human courtesies, peoples' rights and their very dignity were disregarded. Asylum Seekers distressed were screaming not only for themselves however out of care for each other. Some distressed guards were appalled at the sheer inhumanity by the actions of the AFP and other guards.

People are being made to feel they are going crazy.

We have long urged for UN Observers and have been warning that what is occurring would occur. It is time for the Government and the United Nations to listen. The Government, DIAC, SERCO management incite the chaos, riots, utter and sheer despair. The AFP must refuse to be misused and act as if the militia arm of the Government - it is illegal and unconstitutional.

In effect Asylum Seekers have been beaten, dragged, separated, arrested and many need medical attention. Today the AFP in Gold compound and nearby acted like hired thugs - and yesterday guards and asylum seekers described a war zone mentality and scenario. Julia Gillard must resign her prime ministership adn Australia's racist policies and brutish behaviours must cease.

Dramas continue and we will have the unwarranted phenomena of further Detention Centre deaths while in Immigration custody.

Gerry Georgatos, PhD Law researcher in Australian Deaths in Custody.
Convenor, Human Rights Alliance
0430 657 309


July 22nd Refugee Action Coalition Statement Australian Federal Police (AFP) have staged early morning raids on the rooms of asylum seekers in several compounds of the main detention centre on Christmas Island.

A number of asylum seekers have been beaten in the raids, and quite a few have been dragged out of the compounds.

It is not known where those dragged out of the compounds have been taken, but it assumed to be to the Red One high security so called “ management unit”.

The crackdown follows three nights of protests at the detention centre. While the AFP were clearly looking for particular individuals, they have assaulted many who have not been part of the protests.

“We are extremely concerned for the safety of the asylum seekers at the hands of the Federal police. The major clashes in March were a result of the Federal police and Serco launching raids for so-called ringleaders of the protests. The victimisation of protesters did nothing to ease tensions in March; it will do nothing now.

“We are joining the calls for human rights observers to be placed in the detention centres. And for lawyers to have immediate access to those being held by the Federal police,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“We have been aware for some time that Serco management have been pushing for harsher measures against protesting asylum seekers, including the use of handcuffs and padded helmets for those incarcerated in Red One.

“Rather than finding scapegoats for the failures of Serco and the Immigration department, the government should be acting to end long term detention that has pushed the asylum seekers to the edge. If the government thinks it can beat asylum seekers into submission that are sorely mistaken. Many of them have been victim of the savage repression of democracy demonstrations at the hands of the Revolutionary guards of the Iranian regime.”