Christmas Island detention centre is burning

| January 6, 2021 | Reply

Reports from inside Christmas Island detention centre indicate that at least two compounds, Blue and Green, have been set alight. While the extent of the damage is not known, the glare from the fires and the extent of the smoke in the air indicates the fires are substantial.

Serco and ABF Officers have been withdrawn from all the compounds. (Only Blue, Green and White compounds are presently being used inside the Christmas Island detention centre.)

While the immediate cause of the fires is not known, tensions have been building inside the detention centre over the past few weeks, and escalated dramatically over the last 24 hours.

There are a number of grievances that have been raised in meetings with Border Force, including access to the Green heart (at present each compound has only a two-hour rostered time a day); the price of cigarettes; access to their property; and the fact that there is no proper access to a mobile network in the detention centre.

The lack of access to the Green heart means that people are locked in their compounds 22 hours a day. Other issues, such the use of handcuffs for transfers from detention centres and the chronic ill-health, both physical and mental, of long term detainees have also been raised.

There is also the general human rights issue of the use of the Migration Act to continue to punish people who have completed any sentence imposed by the judicial system.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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