Australia investigates detention center assaults on Christmas Island

16:08, May 23, 2011      

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The Australian Federal Police (AFP) are investigating two alleged assaults by detainees on security staff at the Christmas Island immigration detention center, the AFP said on Monday.

The two separate incidents on Friday at the Northwest Point immigration detention center on Christmas Island, off the Western Australian coast, followed an altercation earlier in the day involving around 40 detainees, an Immigration Department spokesman said on Monday.

That altercation was quickly brought under control with the help of police, the spokesman said.

He said the assaults were unconnected to the altercation, and two security officers were injured with one seriously injured requiring treatment at Christmas Island's hospital.

The spokesman did not give details about the incidents but it was understood that an angry detainee threw a jug of boiling water over an officer.

An Australian Federal Police spokesman said investigations into the assaults were under way but no charges had yet been laid.

The immigration spokesman said that following Friday's incidents, detainees had been reminded of Immigration Minister Chris Bowen's recent "announcements regarding behavior expectations" at detention centers.

Under proposed legislation introduced earlier this month, anyone convicted of a criminal offense while in immigration detention may be refused a visa or have a visa cancelled.

Source: Xinhua

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