Not Christmas for these illegal immigrants!

Australian internet-logoUnder former prime minster Tony Abbott, the Australians ran a strict “no-entry” policy for illegal immigrants trying to sneak into Australia. While the new PM might be reconsidering this policy, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection currently detains would-be immigrants on Christmas Island, a remote outpost located 2,650km (1,650 miles) north-west of Perth and 380km south of Java in Indonesia. Yesterday there was an incident where inmates started fires inside the buildings and barricaded themselves inside a compound with weapons.

The Australia’s  police used tear gas to bring an end to unrest at the Christmas Island migrant detention centre and bring all areas of the facility back under “full and effective control”.

The unrest started late on Sunday, when a group of Iranian inmates staged a protest about the death of an Iranian Kurd, Fazel Chegeni, who had broken out of the facility on Saturday. His body was found the next day at the bottom of a cliff.

Inmates had started fires inside the buildings and barricaded themselves inside a compound with weapons.

Christmas Island is part of Australia’s network of offshore processing centres for ‘irregular migrants’ (illegal immigrants) who arrive by boat, but also houses foreigners facing deportation after committing crimes in Australia. Because of its remoteness the incident was contained by the authorities and there was no spill over into the local Australian community as there would be in the US.

Don’t we have some islands we could use to process illegal aliens?


Here is the official report:

The Department can confirm all areas of the Christmas Island Immigration Detention Facility are under the full and effective control of service providers and Department staff.

All detainees have been accounted for.

The majority of detainees co-operated with service providers in restoring good order and control to the centre.

Five detainees have presented with injuries or medical conditions and are the subject of assessment and appropriate treatment from IHMS medical professionals. None of the matters are life-threatening. It is not known whether these injuries were sustained during the disturbance itself or during the resolution of the operation.

This morning’s operation to regain control of the centre and ensure the welfare of those not participating in criminal damage activities was achieved largely through negotiation and co-operation with detainees.

This strategy of peaceful negotiation and resolution has always been the clear objective of all involved in the operation.

Some force was used with a core group of detainees who had built barricades and actively resisted attempts to secure compounds, including threatened use of weapons and improvised weapons.

The centre remains calm, with detainees secured in undamaged areas of the centre. Food, fluid and medical support continues to be provided.

Service provider staff will conduct a sweep of all compounds to search for contraband including weapons before detainees are moved back into normal accommodation areas.

A full survey of damage to the centre is yet to be completed, but some common areas appear to be severely damaged. Work to repair the centre will be undertaken as a priority. The damage to Commonwealth property is the subject of investigation and identified offenders will be prosecuted.

The Department thanks all service provider staff who have acted professionally and quickly to restore order.

Reports will be referred to Departmental Case Management officers who will make contact with detainees as required. Personal information cannot be provided in response to enquiries without authorisation from the detainees involved.

Further updates will be provided as operations at the centre normalise.

Media contact: Immigration and Border Protection (02) 6264 2244