Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released this statement on June 5.
Eye-witness accounts of the riot squad attack on peaceful protests on Christmas Island on June 2 have revealed more of the brutality of the attack and disproportionate force used by the Serco Emergency Response Team.
One of the asylum seekers injured remains in hospital with a broken hand/wrist after the riot squad re-broke his hand with such severity that a surgical pin from a previous operation was broken through the bone.
The asylum seekers report seven protesters had their wrists “broken” — although this may refer to a combination of actual breaks and those with injuries requiring support bandaging.
One of the asylum seekers told the Refugee Action Coalition that the riot squad was “bashing them, hitting them with sticks and twisting their hands and putting them on the ground one by one.”
At least one other asylum seeker was x-rayed for suspected broken ribs following the bashing by the riot squad.
Six asylum seekers remain in the high security Red compound while the others involved in the protest have been isolated and locked in the White compound. Some of the asylum seekers, including two epileptics, are still being denied their daily medication.
Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition said: “Just as the minister [Scott Morrison] has tried to blame asylum seekers for the brutality of the attack on them on Manus Island, he has tried to excuse the violence of the Serco guards because there was ‘non-compliant behaviour’ by asylum seekers. Since when is peaceful protest considered to be ‘non-compliant behaviour’?
“‘Non-compliant behaviour’ is not an excuse for riot squads breaking bones.
“The scale of the injuries inflicted demands a full inquiry. The film of the incident should be released so the public can assess whether or not the minister is telling the truth. The cover-up of the violence on Manus Island has now spread to covering up the truth of the bashings on Christmas Island.
“The Serco thugs responsible for the attacks should be stood down pending a full inquiry and so should Morrison be stood aside for excusing and justifying the violence used against asylum seekers.
“Morrison himself is guilty of ‘non-compliance’ with the most basic standards of accountability and human rights.”