Sunday, 23 February 2014

Manus Island detention centre violent death - an unfolding story

SBS: Manus Island detention centre
ABC News: Manus Island detention centre tent interior Sunday 23 February 2014:

MORE than 200 locals joined riot police and guards from security contractor G4S in crushing Monday night’s uprising by asylum-seekers at the Manus Island detention centre.
Civilian residents of the Lombrum naval base, on which the detention facility is located on Manus Island, said when security forces felt they were being overwhelmed they asked locals to help repel several hundred rioters.
This account explains for the first time how there were such widespread injuries, with 77 asylum seekers requiring treatment...
One civilian source who entered the compound at the height of the riot saw Berati being carried by medics.
“His skull was crushed and his neck was broken, but I don’t know how,” said the man, who said he went in to try and calm locals down, who were battling detainees with iron bars....
Security firm G4S handed control of the detention centre to Transfield Services today, with both firms promising to co-operate with the inquiry.

The Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 22 February 2013:

Australian security staff will be investigated over their role in the Manus Island detention centre riot that left one man dead and scores injured, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has conceded.
In an extraordinary statement issued late last night, Mr Morrison admitted that much of the information he had given to the Australian public since Monday’s riot was now in doubt.
The most explosive admission is the revelation that most of the violence probably took place within the detention centre's fences, rather than outside its boundaries, as Mr Morrison had previously claimed.
“I wish to confirm that, contrary to initial reports received, I have received further information that indicates that the majority of the riotous behaviour that occurred, and the response to that behaviour to restore order to the centre, took place within the perimeter of the centre,” the minister said in the statement.
“In a situation where transferees engage in riotous and aggressive behaviour within the centre, this will escalate the risk to those who engage in such behaviour. However, in such circumstances service providers must conduct themselves lawfully and consistent with the service standards set out in their contract.”
A spokesman for security company G4S, which is contracted to run security on Manus Island, flatly denied to News Corp Australia on Thursday that its staff were involved in the riot, saying: “G4S was not involved in any violence with detainees.”
Fairfax Media was unable to contact G4S on Saturday night.
On Friday, Mr Morrison said the security company would be off the island within a week, when its contract expired.
Transfield, which runs operations on Nauru, will take over security on the island.....

The Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 22 February 2013:

The Iranian man who died during violent clashes on Manus Island this week suffered a cut to the neck and head injuries, according to an employee at the detention centre who was with him before he died.
The man, who has asked that his name not be used, also said he saw another asylum seeker whose throat had been cut, and another whose face was swollen beyond recognition. He said more than one of those injured suffered gunshot wounds.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison confirmed on Friday that the deceased asylum seeker was 23-year-old Reza Barati, who arrived on Christmas Island last July and been transferred to Manus Island in late August.
The employee said he helped tend to the injured after the attack, which asylum seekers told him had been perpetrated by locals employed by security contractor G4S and police.
He said asylum seekers in fear of their lives had been pulled from their rooms, beaten and told by their attackers: ''You want freedom? We'll give you freedom tonight.''....

International Business Times Friday 21 February 2014:

The Iranian asylum seeker killed in a violent jail-break from an Australian-run detention camp in Papua New Guinea was killed by a guard working for the security contractor G4S, according to an Australian guard.
The account, obtained by News Corp, suggests local guards jumped on Reza Barati's head in a "frenzy" on Monday night, as he lay defenceless on the ground.
Barati, 23, was killed in a camp on Manus Island on Monday, after sustaining fatal head injuries as hundreds of asylum seekers pushed down a perimeter fence to escape the compound.
An Australian official has said his body will be repatriated to his family in Iran. The Australian Embassy in Port Moresby conveyed the deep sympathies of the Australian government....

Scott Morrison MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Media release Tuesday 18 February 2014:

I am advised that there has been a further and more serious incident at the Manus Island processing centre overnight involving transferees breaching internal and external perimeter fences at the centre.
I am advised non-essential staff were evacuated as a precautionary measure last night prior to any escalation of these events, when low level demonstrations resumed.
The extent and nature of the subsequent events and perimeter breaches is still being verified. However, I am advised that all staff have been accounted for, our service providers are in control of the centre and there has been no damage to critical infrastructure or accommodation at the centre, which will enable the centre to resume normal operations.
Confirmation of the location of all transferees is yet to occur and face to photo checks will be undertaken later in the morning.
I am advised that during the events PNG police did not enter the centre and that their activities related only to dealing with transferees who breached the external perimeter. Once again, I am advised that G4S were able to protect critical infrastructure and take control of the facility within the centre without the use of batons.
In addition to the evacuation of non-essential staff earlier in the evening, transferees not participating in these events were removed to a nearby oval for their safety, while G4S addressed the situation in the centre.
Transferees injured during the incident are and have been receiving treatment from IHMS at the scene and there are a number of persons with serious injuries included in this group.
Arrangements will be made to transfer persons requiring further treatment offsite at the earliest possible opportunity, where necessary, and we are liaising with local health services to this end.
We have not been advised of any injuries to our staff, however it is possible that some security staff may present later in the day for minor treatment once they are in a position to do so.
A command centre, including PNG authorities, was established on Manus to direct our response to these incidents on the ground, in accordance with standard procedure.
Further information will be provided on these events once further reports have been provided and are verified.
I will be returning with Lt Gen Campbell directly to Canberra from Darwin at the first available opportunity to be briefed on these events and to be available to determine further actions as required.

Media release Monday 17 February 2014:

The government can confirm there was a disturbance at the Manus Island centre last night.
I am advised that staff are reported safe and accounted for and that the centre is reported to be calm.
It is reported Papua New Guinea police have arrested a number of transferees in relation to the incident.
Service providers have also reported a number of transferees have received medical attention and that there has been some minor property damage to the centre.
I am advised that suggestions reportedly made by asylum advocate groups in relation to this incident that transferees had been informed they would not be settled in Papua New Guinea are false.
Further information in relation to this incident will be provided once details can be confirmed by my department.

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