News / Asia

Deadly Riots at Australian Detention Center in PNG

FILE - A man walking between tents at Australia's regional processing centre on Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea.
FILE - A man walking between tents at Australia's regional processing centre on Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea.
VOA News
Australian officials said one asylum seeker was killed and at least 77 wounded during the second riot this week at a detention center in Papua New Guinea.

The case highlights what some activists claim are unsafe conditions at the remote camp on Manus Island, where asylum seekers trying to reach Australia are sent for processing.

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the unrest began after the would-be refugees were told they would have to be resettled in impoverished Papua New Guinea.

He called the incident a "great tragedy," but blamed the asylum seekers for allegedly trying to escape the facility.

Detention Camp Sites on Manus Island, Papua New GuineaDetention Camp Sites on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea
x
Detention Camp Sites on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea
Detention Camp Sites on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea
"If people choose to remove themselves from that center then they're obviously putting themselves at a place of much greater risk, and in an environment like that where there is violent behavior on the part of those who are breaching the perimeter fence and going out of the center, then this is a disorderly environment, in which there is always great risk," said Morrison.

Some rights groups disagree with that narrative. The Refugee Action Committee said local villagers armed with machetes, pipes, sticks and stones stormed the facility and attacked the asylum seekers.

British security contractor G4S, which guards the facility, denied those accusations, and maintained that the asylum seekers did not leave the facility because of attacks by locals.

Thirty-five asylum seekers broke out of the facility last week. Many have since been re-detained.

Under a policy aimed at deterring asylum seekers, Australia's conservative government has been sending those trying to reach the country by boat to remote camps on either Manus Island or the tiny Pacific island of Nauru.

The United Nations and rights groups have called the camps harsh and say long-term detention at such facilities is inhumane.

Australia claims the policy is necessary to stop people from paying people smugglers to make the unsafe journey, often in rickety boats that crash.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' at 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid