Weekly media wrap - 22 March 2017

A riot reportedly occurred at the Manus Island detention centre on Friday. Detainee Behrouz Boochani stated that this followed the erection of a fence between the kitchen and detainees. Guards claimed that the fence was erected as some detainees had been taking too much food.

On Friday, a judge rejected a submission by the Australian government that the Federal Court did not have jurisdiction to hear a challenge to the government’s proposed ban on mobile phones in detention centres. Border Force Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg claimed the phones are being used to commit crimes in detention centres, but human rights lawyer George Newhouse said that they ‘provide asylum seekers with vital access to the outside world and to loved ones’.

At least 42 Somali asylum seekers died on Saturday when an Apache helicopter reportedly fired at the boat in which they were travelling. The asylum seekers were carrying official UNHCR documents and travelling from Yemen to Sudan.