Report – By PMC news desk
A witness to violence at the Manus Island detention centre last Monday night says guards from the security firm G4S allowed locals armed with makeshift weapons into the facility, reports ABC News.
The Federal government has backed away from its initial claims about what happened during the violence at its off-shore detention centre that killed one detainee and left dozens more injured.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison initially said 23-year-old Iranian man Reza Berati sustained a fatal head injury on February 17 while outside the detention centre, reports ABC News’ PNG correspondent Liam Cochrane.
But at the weekend he said new information suggested the incident, along with much of the riot, happened inside the centre’s perimeter.
Liam Cochrane reports:
At the scene that night were expatriate G4S guards, most of them Australian, locally engaged Papua New Guinean G4S guards both in uniform and out of uniform, the Incident Response Team (IRT) and Papua New Guinea’s notorious police mobile squad – who were the only ones armed.
A Papua New Guinean guard employed by G4S has told ABC’s 7.30 current affairs programme – on condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job – that the unrest began when asylum seekers were taunting the local staff.
A large crowd of local residents had also gathered to watch a stand-off that continued for several hours.
Joined in riot
The protests were concentrated in Mike compound, but as detainees in Foxtrot compound were taken to a nearby playing field for safety some escaped and joined in the riot.
A witness who watched the unrest from about 100 metres away – who would not be identified for fear of repercussions from security guards – said 10 to 15 locals armed with lengths of wood got involved.
He says asylum seekers were taunting local staff with highly offensive insults and G4S guards asked the locals to come inside the centre.
Source: Radio Australia