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Government reacts to horrific abuse of detainees in youth correction facilities

first_img“Like all Australians, we are shocked by the report, by that evidence that was shown on Four Corners last night. Deeply shocked. We have moved swiftly to get to the bottom of it,” the Prime Minister told ABC radio, commenting on the news program which revealed the abuse of young detainees at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin.The footage presented on the program showed youths being isolated and strapped to mechanical chairs and six boys being tear-gassed, revealing a pattern of abuse, deprivation and punishment of vulnerable children inside Northern Territory youth detention centres.The broadcast was met with reactions of outrage by viewers, officials and community stakeholders. Addressing the calls for urgent action to be taken, Malcolm Turnbull announced on Tuesday his decision to call for a royal commission into the abuse of youths in the Northern Territory corrections system, after consultations with Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs, NT Chief Minister Adam Giles, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and Attorney-General George Brandis.“We need to get all the facts out as swiftly as we can”, said the PM. “We need to expose the cultural problems, the administrative problems that allowed this type of mistreatment to occur.“We want to know how this came about, we want to know what lessons can be learnt from it. We want to know why there were inquiries into this centre which did not turn up the evidence and the information that we saw on Four Corners last night. This is a shocking state of affairs and we will move quickly to establish what happened.”Some of the events took place after a long period of tension that resulted in some teen prisoners attempting to escape; when recaptured, they were placed in the isolation wing of the prison for between 15 and 17 days, in what were described by both children and staff as appalling and inhumane conditions. They were kept locked in their cells for almost 24 hours a day with no running water, little natural light, and were denied access to school and educational material.The royal commission has been welcomed by human rights groups and Labor has announced bipartisan support, saying it shouldn’t be limited to the issues at Don Dale and should address systemic issues in the justice system that spread across Territory prisons. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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