27 May 2014

Claims Manus report a whitewash

7:33 am on 27 May 2014

The spokesperson for Australia's Refugee Action Coalition says a report into violent clashes at the Manus Island detention centre in February is a whitewash.

The report, by Robert Cornall, was released yesterday, and identifies anger and frustration at Australia's resettlement plans as the spark for violent protests.

Mr Cornall has made 13 recommendations, many relating to security at the centre.

But Ian Rintoul says the report, and its recommendations, ignore the actions of security guards and PNG police and instead blames the asylum seekers.

"It ends up with a finding that the threat, in terms of security, is with the asylum seekers. All the recommendations and all the concerns is to increase the size of the fences, to put cameras in place in order to suppress protest and suppress what they see as a threat coming from the asylum seekers. Ultimately the report says nothing about where the real threat on Manus Island lies and that's with the security staff."

Ian Rintoul says the fact the report, which includes witness statements, has been given to PNG police puts asylum seekers in danger of reprisal attacks.