Australia riot review a 'cover-up' - PNG police

2014-05-29 12:34
 (File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Papua New Guinea police on Thursday said an investigation into a riot at an Australian detention centre on Manus Island that left an asylum-seeker dead "stinks of a major cover-up".

Deputy Commissioner Simon Kauba said the findings of the probe, carried out on behalf of the Australian government, "only hampers our on-going investigations into the riot" which also left 69 people injured in February.

"Our investigations have been frustrated from day one with a complete lack of co-operation from all involved including [detention centre security firm] G4S employees as well as the asylum-seekers themselves," Kauba said in a statement.

"In fact the asylum-seekers as well as G4S officials and other service providers refused to give their statements to us and made it known that they preferred to talk only to Australian lawyers."

Under Australia's tough refugee policy, asylum-seekers arriving by boat are sent to detention centres on PNG's Manus Island or Nauru, a remote Pacific neighbour, for processing and permanent resettlement.

The 107-page review released on Monday found Iranian asylum-seeker Reza Barati was "brutally beaten" to death in an assault led by a Salvation Army worker.

It also found that PNG police had pushed over the fence and entered the compound before opening fire after G4S, which manages the centre's security, had left during the riot.

But Kauba said an initial investigation by local police found its officers did not enter the camp before or during the riot, were not involved in the violence and did not injure any asylum-seekers.

Contradictions

Police believe Barati's death was the result of injuries caused by four detention centre staff, two PNG locals and two foreigners, he added.

Kauba said PNG officers fired "warning shots into the air from outside the centre" that "helped to quieten the situation".

This contradicted the review's findings that police fired a number of shots into residential buildings in the centre and that some bullets hit walls about "chest height".

The police chief said his force's investigation into whether an asylum-seeker, who was shot in the buttocks, had been injured by one of his officers was being hampered by a lack of access to the detainees.

"The only way we can confirm this is if the injured man is brought forward and appropriate tests conducted to confirm the nature of the injuries sustained," Kauba said.

"Otherwise, this whole matter stinks of a major cover-up."

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday it was up to local police to lay charges over the violence and that the information used to prepare the report was handed over to PNG authorities.

PNG's Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato said his government had been briefed on the report, but would not initiate any prosecutions until the police investigation was complete.

"Ministers of the two countries agreed at the last monthly ministerial meeting to consider the recommendations from the two reports and discuss measures to prevent such incidents from happening in the future," Pato was quoted as telling PNG's The National newspaper.

PNG would consider whether a coronial inquest should be set up after police released their findings, he added.

Australia-based Refugee Action Coalition spokesperson Ian Rintoul said the investigations had "degenerated into farce".

"Both inquiries are determined to whitewash their respective government and police authorities, while any semblance of independence is trashed," he said.

According to official Australian figures, Manus Island houses 1 273 asylum-seekers while a further 1 177 are being held on Nauru.
Read more on:    papua new guinea  |  australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!

Who would have guessed the world’s least visited country would have such spectacular beaches?

 
 

I love summer.24

LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.