Topic: Prison

Christmas Island detainee concerned for safety following riots

  • Australia

An announcement calling for inmates to return to their compounds is being circulated at the Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre, after riots broke out early yesterday morning.

An inmate at the facility who has asked to be called Ariki, says detainees who have families and just want to be heard are following the directions of the announcement.

However he also says there are groups of detainees who are preparing for confrontation with any officials or guards who attempt to take back control.

Ariki says, “We are just trying to make sure it happens calmly, before it gets out of hand, it’s getting down to the crunch, I mean some of these guys have axes and there are a lot of people in here that don’t want to get caught up in that.”

The riots allegedly broke out after the death of an asylum seeker who was held at the facility and detainees had control of the detention centre overnight.

Yesterday a spokesperson from the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed a "disturbance" and outlined it was working with service providers to resolve the situation.

Ariki says inmates have been faced with "emotional torture" and "inhumane circumstances" while being held there, but he hopes the situation can be resolved peacefully and no one is hurt in the process of authorities taking back control.