There are currentlyÂ Â 1340 men of military age in detention on Manus Island, nearly all of them Iranian and Iraqi Muslims. Bleeding hearts will tell you that being locked up turns them into violent criminals. I suspect the bleeding hearts are wrong. These Muslims are already violent criminals, with next to nothing in their mental baggage that could possibly enrich Australia.
If you thought the “asylum seeker” Â killed on Manus Island was actually seeking asylum from the wicked Iranian regime, Â why this protest over his fate?
IRAN’S foreign ministry has reportedly summoned Australia’s ambassador to protest the death of an Iranian asylum-seeker during rioting on Manus Island, in a move dubbed “a bit rich” by deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek.
The move came as calls intensified for a broader inquiry into violence at the Australian-run detention centre which left one asylum-seeker dead, another critically injured and a third with gunshot wounds.
One hundred extra security staff are on standby for deployment to the Papua New Guinea island as tensions remain high following Monday night’s riot, which left 77 asylum-seekers injured.
Iran’s official IRNA news agency reports the Iranian foreign ministry’s consular director, Hosein Mirfakhar, summoned ambassador Paul Foley in Tehran to express “protest and discontent” about the death of the Iranian during Monday’s riot.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the asylum-seeker had died of head injuries, apparently during a confrontation with PNG police.
Mr Mirfakhar also sought changes to Australia’s refugee policy, according to the IRNA report.
Confirmation was being sought from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
But Labor’s Ms Plibersek said it was “a bit rich” for the Iranian government to criticise Australia given its own human rights record.
“Of course any reports of a death or injury on Manus Island concern me greatly,” said Ms Plibersek, Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman.
“But I do also think it’s a bit rich for anyone from the Iranian government to be criticising the treatment of asylum-seekers from a regime that may well be making positive steps in recent times, but has a record for not respecting the human rights of its own citizens, particularly anyone who is critical of the government there.”
The scale of the violence prompted the PNG government to fly a top-level team to Manus yesterday, and two inquiries â€” one by the PNG government and the other by Immigration Department head Martin Bowles â€” were last night underway.
But Labor says the Australian review does not go far enough because it doesn’t look into what happened outside the detention compound.
The president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, has also called for an independent inquiry to investigate the situation and the conditions that led to the violence.
She said the inquiry could be headed by either a member of the judiciary or a retired civil servant.
“But somebody who has objectivity and able to look at the development of the facts and to really assess what the conditions are for people,’’ she told ABC radio.
Ms Triggs called for the establishment of a formal oversight body as recommended by the expert panel on asylum-seekers set up by the former Gillard government.
The head of Refugee Council of Australia Paul Power backed that call, saying most of the parties involved in the detention of asylum seekers are hired by the Australian government.
Tensions on Manus appeared contained last night after Monday’s riots.
Five asylum-seekers have been evacuated off the island for medical treatment, one of whom was urgently transferred to an Australian hospital, apparently suffering critical head injuries.
Another was shot in the buttock and was flown to Port Moresby for medical treatment.
The riot was the culmination of a series of “rolling protests” that began on Sunday night when the 1340 asylum-seekers held on Manus Island were told they had no chance of resettlement in Australia.
The altercations started when asylum-seekers â€” many of whom have now been held in the centre for months â€” began taunting police and G4S security guards. They called out insulting messages to the police and guards in Pidgin, which they have learned during their detention.
Then, on Monday night, asylum-seekers began another protest, demanding detainees locked up by PNG police the night before be released.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING: PAUL MALEY, ROWAN CALLICK, AP