Locking up the neighbours: New Zealand should intervene

New Zealand needs to intervene with full force at Christmas Island camps in Australia and our government should be making more noise for transparency across the ditch.

Calls for transparency come after months of unrest at the detainee centre, a centre for people who have not committed any crimes, or have completed time in jail in the past, being held unjustifiably for long periods of time.

Being an Australian facility you’d expect the news of riots at the centre to come from Australia, but instead detainees are contacting New Zealand opposition MPs who are calling for less secrecy.

Australia and New Zealand have a neighbour bond like no other, so why are our neighbours locking us up and throwing away the key? The Australian government is honestly locking New Zealanders up in detention centres for long periods of times, treating them like animals and then deporting them.

72 New Zealand citizens are currently being held on Christmas Island, a remote Australian territory in the Indian Ocean.

The news broke as months of stories of brutal bashings and punishment allegedly at the hands of the Australian Boarder Force begun to emerge from the detention centre.

New Zealand Corrections spokesperson for Labour Kelvin Davis published on Facebook a story about a 21 year old, Czarion Strang, who says he was beaten up so badly by members of the riot squad that they snapped a ligament in his leg. Davis recently visited the island last month.

“I’m hearing that the guards have exited the detention centre, that fences have been torn down and that detainees in the segregated area are mixing with the mainstream detainees,” he told the ABC.

“Some of them have been on that island for four, five years and, quite frankly, everyone’s sick of being treated like animals and right now they’re turning around and biting.”

New Zealand needs to intervene strongly and with full force. New Zealand prime minister John Key should be on his way to Australia to meet with the Australian government immediately and be using strong words.

Australia would be up in arms if this happened on New Zealand soil, and it should not be tolerated in either country.

Australia, New Zealand is watching your every move regarding this issue. How do you know that? Our MPs learned about the terrible conditions and recent riots at your detention centres before your media across the ditch even begun speculation.

Our country will not tolerate this behaviour, but the question remains; will the kiwi government intervene? We can only hope that they do.

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said negotiations were under way with those involved in the stand-off and it was hoped order would be restored in the coming hours.

However, his department denied earlier that there was a large-scale riot taking place following the death of Iranian Kurdish refugee Fazal Chegeni, whose body was found at the base of a cliff yesterday.

Michael Riley. 


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