Rooftop protest at Darwin detention centre

Posted on: February 3rd, 2019 by
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A group of asylum seekers climbed on to the roof of a Darwin detention centre yesterday, an Immigration Department spokesman has confirmed.

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The private security firm that guards Australia’s detention centres, Serco, is negotiating with a group of Burmese asylum seekers at the Northern Immigration Detention Centre in an effort to talk them in out of the rain.

A spokesman for the immigration department told AAP Serco was closely monitoring the group.

“The detention services provider is engaging with the detainees in an attempt to convince them to end their action,” he said on Tuesday evening.

“Such action as this will have no bearing on their asylum applications.

“Medical services are on hand should they be required.

“Their safety is our primary concern.”

He said he did not know how many were on the roof, nor when or how the asylum seekers climbed up there.

An inquiry would held determine what had happened, he said.

The incident is one of several breakouts at the centre in the past six months.

Almost 90 Afghan asylum seekers, some of whom had been in detention for up to a year, pushed through two electrified fences at the centre, just outside Darwin, last September to stage a peaceful protest.

The men sat in 30-degree temperatures on the side of Darwin’s main highway for seven-and-a-half hours, pleading for authorities to re-examine their failed attempts at refugee status.

In a separate incident last year, a group of Indonesian detainees, facing people-smuggling charges, set mattresses on fire and brandished poles on a roof at the centre.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports police fired beanbag rounds and tear gas to quell protests at yet another detention centre on Christmas Island and the investigations into violence in Christmas Island detention centre have been extended.

More to come…


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