Probe into ‘shock­ing’ youth de­ten­tion abuse

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE Aus­tralian govern­ment or­dered an in­quiry yes­ter­day af­ter graphic ev­i­dence emerged of prison guards as­sault­ing and tear-gassing teenage boys.

Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull said he was “ap­palled” by the im­ages aired by the na­tional broad­caster ABC from a youth de­ten­tion cen­tre in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

“Like all Aus­tralians, I’ve been deeply shocked – shocked and ap­palled by the im­ages of mis­treat­ment of chil­dren at the Don Dale Cen­tre,” he said.

“We will be es­tab­lish­ing a Royal Com­mis­sion to look into th­ese events, into this cen­tre. We in­tend to do so jointly with the North­ern Ter­ri­tory govern­ment.

“This needs a thor­ough in­quiry, we need to move quickly on that, get to the bot­tom of it, and ex­pose what oc­curred and ex­pose the cul­ture that al­lowed it to oc­cur and al­lowed it to re­main un­re­vealed for so long.”

The Four Cor­ners cur­rent af­fairs pro­gram on July 25 showed footage of of­fend­ers, many in­dige­nous, be­ing stripped naked, tear-gassed and held in soli­tary con­fine­ment for weeks at the cen­tre in 2014 and 2015.

In one video, a 17-year-old is hooded, shack­led to a re­straint chair by his an­kles, wrists and neck.

The North­ern Ter­ri­tory has one of the high­est crime rates in Aus­tralia, with in­dige­nous of­fend­ers mak­ing up more than two-thirds of the prison pop­u­la­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Amnesty In­ter­na­tional, Abo­rig­i­nal chil­dren are 26 times more likely to be jailed than their non-in­dige­nous coun­ter­parts.

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