21 July 2011

More riots at Australian immigration centre

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The Christmas Island immigration detention centre has experienced more rioting, with reports stating that police have fired tear gas and non-lethal rounds at rioting inmates.

Speaking on the rioting, Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen stated that between 20 and 40 immigration detainees "engaged again in vandalism and violence" on Wednesday night, with a building set alight at the remote Indian Ocean centre.

"The federal police again took action and they used, I'm advised, gas and bean bag rounds," Bowen told reporters.

The Immigration Minister went on to warn that detainees would face the "full force of the law" if the violence continued.

"This sort of activity is completely inappropriate, it is way out of line with the expectations of the Australian people," the minister said.

"Undertaking this sort of activity is achieving nothing except potentially their release from detention and transfer into a prison."

At least 30 detainees have already been charged over riots on Christmas Island last month. The incidents on Christmas Island follows violent protests at Sydney's Villawood in April, in which nine immigration centre buildings were set on fire.

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