Sydney: A review into a riot at an Australian detention centre on Papua New Guinea found today that an Iranian man was “brutally beaten” to death by a Salvation Army worker and warned of a major task to rebuild trust.
The unrest at the Manus Island camp in February also left 69 people injured as tensions flared among inmates about their fate under Australia’s hardline asylum-seeker policies.
An independent review on behalf of the Australian government found no particular factor caused the violence at a camp that has been condemned as too harsh by the United Nations.
“It is not possible to isolate one factor which, if handled differently, may have resulted in less injuries and damage or to apportion blame for causing the incidents directly to one or more of the parties involved,” it said.
But it added that frustration and anxiety over a lack of information about resettlement policies and dismay among inmates at hearing they had no chance of living in Australia contributed to the tensions.
There was also antagonism between some in the camp and PNG nationals working there, with some asylum-seekers treating them “in a disrespectful and racist manner”.
Manus Island houses one of two remote Pacific camps used by Canberra in its punitive offshore detention policy, the other is on Nauru.
Under the policy, any asylum-seeker arriving by boat is transferred to the centres for processing and permanent resettlement.