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July 22, 2011

AFP IN BRUTAL CRACKDOWN ON CHRISTMAS ISLAND

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Australian Federal Police (AFP) have staged early morning raids on the rooms of asylum seekers in several compounds of the main detention centre on Christmas Island.

A number of asylum seekers have been beaten in the raids, and quite a few have been dragged out of the compounds.

It is not known where those dragged out of the compounds have been taken, but it assumed to be to the Red One high security so called “ management unit”.

The crackdown follows three nights of protests at the detention centre. While the AFP were clearly looking for particular individuals, they have assaulted many who have not been part of the protests.

“We are extremely concerned for the safety of the asylum seekers at the hands of the Federal police. The major clashes in March were a result of the Federal police and Serco launching raids for so-called ringleaders of the protests. The victimisation of protesters did nothing to ease tensions in March; it will do nothing now.

“We are joining the calls for human rights observers to be placed in the detention centres. And for lawyers to have immediate access to those being held by the Federal police,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“We have been aware for some time that Serco management have been pushing for harsher measures against protesting asylum seekers, including the use of handcuffs and padded helmets for those incarcerated in Red One.

“Rather than finding scapegoats for the failures of Serco and the Immigration department, the government should be acting to end long term detention that has pushed the asylum seekers to the edge. If the government thinks it can beat asylum seekers into submission that are sorely mistaken. Many of them have been victim of the savage repression of democracy demonstrations at the hands of the Revolutionary guards of the Iranian regime.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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