The Australian government is struggling to restore order on Christmas Island—the offshore detention center set up to hold nonwhite illegal immigrants trying to reach that country by boat—after inmates ransacked and burned buildings.
The outbreak of violence is being carried out by at least 100 nonwhites following the death of an Iranian going by the name of Fazal Chegeni, on the island over the weekend.
Riot police enter the invader detention center to suppress the latest outbreak of violence.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported that most of the “compounds have actually been broken into, including the medical” [block]. All the facilities, including the canteen, had been ransacked and burned, ABC reported.
A number of fires had been set, the observation cameras had been destroyed, and all the administration offices had been broken into and equipment smashed. All the lights had been smashed as well, and the interior security guards had all left the building to avoid being assaulted.
Although the controlled media has tried to blame the rioting—and the death of Chegeni on the existence of the detention center—the reality is that the Iranian died after escaping from the camp.
He apparently climbed over a fence and escaped into the surrounding bush, where his body was found by search parties sent out by the detention center authorities. According to the ABC report, Chegeni’s death triggered the riots.
“I think one of the officers wanted to challenge one of the Iranian detainees who were disgruntled by the way the fellow detainee was treated prior to him escaping and dying and that’s basically how it all started,” one of the inmates was quoted as saying.
The Immigration Department said that the damage had been caused by “detainees whose visas have been cancelled and are awaiting deportation.”
“The protest action began when a small group of Iranian detainees took part in a peaceful protest following the escape from, and death outside the centre, of a detainee on Sunday,” the department said in a statement.
Christmas Island is an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, so named because it was discovered on Christmas Day 1643.
From the late 1980s and early 1990s, boats from Indonesia, carrying “asylum seekers” from all over the world started arriving on the island.
A law was then passed which excised Christmas Island from Australia’s migration zone, meaning that invaders landing on Christmas Island could not automatically apply to the Australian government for refugee status.
By 2006, an immigration detention center had been built, and it is this one which has now been the scene of rioting. The capacity of the center has grown steadily over the years, despite almost none of the invaders actually being granted asylum.
In 2011 more than 250 detainees hurled rocks at staff and set fire to the accommodation block causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage.
Early in 2012, about 375 detainees went on hunger strike, seven stitching their lips together as a protest.