Detainees rioted for three days at the Christmas Island Detention Centre after the body of refugee Fazel Chegeni was discovered on the island. Mr Chegeni’s body was found at the base of a cliff two days after he escaped from the centre. Detainees took control of the facility. The episode ended after the Australian Government sent Federal Police to forcibly regain control of the centre.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton suggested that foreign nationals whose visas had been cancelled led the riot. This allegedly included several New Zealand citizens. The minister stated that the coroner would investigate the cause of Mr Chegeni’s death. An investigation into the riot is also underway. The New Zealand Minister of Internal Affairs responded by comparing Australia’s offshore detention facilities to Guantanamo Bay.
At a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council more than 100 countries criticised Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers. Australia was participating in a Universal Periodic Review of its human rights record.
Italian diplomat Filippo Grandi was nominated as the next High Commissioner for Refugees to replace outgoing Antonio Guterres. Mr Grandi is a former head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA.
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