Australian authorities regain control of immigrant detention centre

Canberra, Nov 10 (IANS) Australian authorities on Tuesday regained control of an immigrant detention centre on Christmas Island, following Sunday’s riot after the death of an Iranian refugee.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed in a statement that all areas of the centre were under “full and effective control”, EFE news reported.

Police arrived on Monday night on the island, and began to take control of some wings of the centre and negotiate with inmates, the majority of whom cooperated with the authorities.

However, “some force was used with a core group of detainees who had built barricades and actively resisted attempts to secure compounds, including threatened use of weapons and improvised weapons,” read the statement.

According to authorities, five detainees suffered light injuries, although it is unknown if they occurred during the riot or during police operation.

A group of Iranians began protesting on Sunday night after they found the corpse of young Iranian Kurdish asylum seeker Fazel Chegeni, who had fled the day before from this remote centre located in the Indian Ocean.

There are some 200 detainees, the majority being immigrants with criminal records awaiting deportation, besides refugees and asylum seekers on Christmas Island and the predominant nationalities are Iranian, New Zealand, and Vietnamese.

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