Asylum seeker killed at Manus Island
An asylum seeker sent to Papua New Guinea by Australia has been killed.
Australia's immigration minister has confirmed one of the asylum seekers sent to Papua New Guinea has been killed.
The person, whose nationality has not been disclosed, died on the way to hospital after suffering a head injury during a second night of rioting at the detention camp on Manus Island.
Leilani Momoisea reports.
Australia's immigration minister, Scott Morrison, said at a press conference that 77 people received treatment following the riot, 22 people suffered minor injuries, 13 suffered serious injuries and one was in a critical condition. Mr Morrison told Australian media that one of the injured has been flown to Australia for treatment for a skull fracture and another one will follow after being shot in the buttock.
SCOTT MORRISON: The news of a death is a great tragedy and our sympathies are extended to the transferees, that persons family and friends who would have been in that facility as well, this is a tragedy, but this was a very dangerous situation, where people decided to protest in a very violent way and to take themselves outside the centre, and place themselves at great risk.
But Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition says the asylum seekers were left defenceless on Monday night, after facility staff and guards were removed due to a riot the previous night. He says armed locals and PNG police officers attacked the detainees and they were injured seriously with deep machete cuts and bashings. Mr Rintoul says the asylum seekers escaped to flee the attacks.
IAN RINTOUL: People fled for their lives when the locals and the police attacked last night, it's quite possible that perimeter fences have been breached in that process but I think it's incorrect to call it a breakout. People were fleeing for their lives when the PNG police and locals attacked the compounds.
Scott Morrison however, is cautioning people to be wary of unsubstantiated reports.He says he's been advised that PNG police did not enter the centre and only dealt with people who tried to escape. Mr Morrison says anyone placing themselves outside the centre puts themselves at a much greater risk, and if they behave in a disorderly way, they subject themselves to the response of law enforcement.
SCOTT MORRISON: I have no information to confirm how the injuries took place, I do know in the case of the most serious ones, particularly in the case of the deceased person, their injuries occurred, and the shot being fired, was outside of the centre, but who and when and where, that information is not available to me.
The Australian Greens Immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, says this is just government's way of not taking responsibility for what's happened.
SARAH HANSON-YOUNG: This is all just weasel words from a government that is refusing to take any responsibility for the lives of people it has indefinitely detained, they've stripped away their rights and now doesn't want to take any responsibility for the damage to them that has occurred. Their safety is paramount and yet they haven't been looked after.
She says it's untenable for the camp to continue, and it needs to be shut immediately. But Scott Morrison says the camp is operating as normal today and the government's resolve remains absolute - anyone seeking to arrive to Australia by boat will be processed off-shore.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: