Christmas Island: protesters injured by riot squad

3 June: Reports from Christmas Island indicate that at least six people were taken by ambulance out of the detention centre following the bashing of peaceful protesters by the Federal Police riot squad.

Asylum seekers who witnessed the baton-wielding, helmeted riot squad attacking the protesters said they saw people whose faces and shirts were covered in blood. They have told the Refugee Action Coalition that besides the six transported out of the detention centre, other injured asylum seekers are being treated at the detention centre’s medical clinic.

It is believed that there are many injured hands and arms from the baton attack.

The asylum seekers have also reported that Serco and Immigration refused attempts by individual protesters to re-enter the compounds over the last few days.

They were told, “You can come back in, when everyone comes back in,” in an deliberate attempt to maximize the misery and to divide the protesters.

Asylum seekers inside the compounds attempted to throw food, water and coverings to those protesting on the oval, enduring rain and cold.

Some asylum seekers are quite traumatised by the attacks, saying it reminded them of the reports they have heard about what happened on Manus Island.

“We know that the whole of the attack by the riot squad was filmed by the police themselves,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “This is not like Manus Island where Scott Morrison can pretend he got bad advice. This violence against defenceless asylum seekers also happened inside the detention centre. He can release the video footage so the Australian public can see for themselves the brutality of the detention regime that he runs.”

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