Mass breakout at asylum seekers detention center in Australia

09:31, September 01, 2010      

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Ninety-two Afghanistan asylum seekers have broke out of a Darwin detention center in Northern Territory of Australia, and are protesting on the road outside on Wednesday.

The asylum seekers are holding signs which read: "Please help us", "Show us mercy", and "We are homeless, defenseless and we seek protection".

Two of the asylum seekers have told the ABC they are from Afghanistan and have been waiting up to nine months in detention. They said they arrived by boat and have now been refused refugee status in Australia.

"Every week, every day we going to die," one of them told the ABC. "Nine months we here because that's why I want to go out to talk with you, all of the population of Australia.

"I need your help. My children aren't safe in this place; we don't know where is our family."

Northern Territory police are negotiating with the detainees who are sitting outside the center's fenced boundary, protesting peacefully, a police spokeswoman said,.

The Immigration Department Spokesman Sandi Logan said the main concern was early morning traffic being affected by the protest.

Logan said he believed only 60 or 70 detainees breached the boundary fence about 7am (CST) on Wednesday and were slowly being moved back inside the center.

"They are being very co-operative," Logan told Sky News.

He said authorities would investigate how the detainees were able to escape from the facility.

"We expect to get a quick report on that," he said.

The mass breakout followed two days of protests at the center.

On Sunday, accused Indonesian people smugglers rioted, setting mattresses on fire and brandishing poles on a rooftop. More than 100 detainees continued rooftop and ground protests on Monday before order was restored on Tuesday.

Logan said police were still deciding whether to charge the Indonesian accused people smugglers who rioted on Sunday and Monday.

Source: Xinhua


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