A prisoner uprising is currently underway in one of the Australian detention camps located on Christmas Island.
The camp population is a mix of asylum seekers and New Zealanders being forcibly removed from Australia following a term in prison there.
One of the prisoners told Radio New Zealand that they faced being beaten and killed by the guards. "They don’t hold back, if they come in here they’re gonna hurt us without a doubt. We’re not thinking that they won’t, we know 100% that they’re gonna come in and try to hurt us, so we’re just sick of it. It’s abuse, it’s torture, it’s time that we took a stand."
Iranian Kurdish refugee Fazel Chegeni has been found dead following his escape from Christmas Island Detention Centre on Friday. A riot has broken out following his death
Hundreds of thousands of New Zealand workers have been put into a second class status by Australian rules since 2001 denying long-term residents from New Zealand the same rights as Australian citizens to health, education and welfare services. New Zealanders have the right to work in Australia but the government ensures they stay in this second class status by denying most New Zealanders the right to apply for citizenship.
Violence, rape, torture and murder have become common place activities. The guards feel able to operate with immunity.
The prisoner revolt should be supported. They are trying to assert their basic humanity against overwhelming odds.
The camps must be closed.
Join a protest outside the Australian consulate in Auckland, this Wednesday, 1pm, PriceWaterHouseCoopers Tower 186-194 Quay Street, Auckland.
Protests supported by Global Peace and Justice Auckland and Unite Union.