Thursday, June 9, 2011

Riot police called in as 100 detainees riot on Christmas Island

Unrest has again broken out at Christmas Island detention centre. Unrest has again broken out at Christmas Island detention centre. 

Australian Federal Police officers used bean bag bullets and capsicum spray to quell a riot among 100 detainees at Christmas Island last night.

The AFP have confirmed the force was deployed at the North West Point detention centre after detainees began throwing projectiles at police and security guards.
An AFP spokeswoman said the detainees had armed themselves with metal poles fashioned from sporting equipment and concrete.
"During negotiations, some of the protesters began throwing projectiles at police and security guards. The AFP deployed less than lethal munitions, including chemical munitions, a bean-bag round and distraction devices, to restore order," the spokeswoman said.
Police were called to the detention centre by the Immigration Department and Serco at 11pm last night.
An Immigration Department spokeswoman said the disturbance involved two compounds of the facility, and did not involve all detainees at the centre.

There are 270 asylum seekers being detained on Christmas Island awaiting deportation, most likely to Malaysia, after Australian introduced a new policy not to process boat arrivals in Australia.
They have been kept separately from the other detainees at the centre. It is not yet known which detainees were involved in the riot, which occurred inside the perimeter fence.
Christmas Island shire president Gordon Thomson said he was generally aware of an incident at the centre, but had not been briefed on it.

"No one has told me what has happened, but I understand police were called in," Mr Thomson said.
He said a community liaison officer would be given a briefing by the Immigration Department. But he said the information flow had not been good in recent times.
"There isn't a protocol. The practice has been they would let us know what is going on, but that hasn't been maintained," he said.

"If tear gas was used I'm sure through the course of the day the workers [at the centre] will tell us."
A spokesman for detention centre managers Serco declined to comment, referring all queries to the Immigration Department.

One Serco employee sustained minor injuries during the stoush, and has since been treated. The Department spokeswoman said none of the detainees escaped the facility.
Control was handed back to Serco about 5.30am, and the centre is now calm according to the Department.

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