12 Nov – Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed the Federal Government is facing a $10 million damage bill in the wake of this week’s riot at the Christmas Island detention centre, with centre operator Serco suspending three staff.
Another 10 detainees were transferred from the island today, after seven detainees suspected of being involved in the riot were yesterday flown to a maximum security prison in Perth.
Just how many of the detainees were involved in the riots is not clear, as communication with people inside the compound has been limited since Tuesday.
Mr Dutton said on Wednesday people “need to understand what we’re dealing with here” as he described the population at Christmas Island as “serious criminals” who had access to fuel and a chainsaw during the unrest.
But Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said the government was “overstating” its depiction of the centre as a place dominated by hardened criminals.
The department said on Wednesday afternoon: “Repairs are under way on accommodation compounds in the centre as a priority, with detainees accommodated overnight in temporary but secure parts of the centre. Reports of detainees sleeping in ‘cages’ are false.”
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has released footage and images showing extensive damage to the Christmas Island detention centre following rioting there.
The rioting began on Sunday evening following the death of Iranian Kurdish man Fazel Chegeni, whose body was found after he escaped the facility.