Asia-Pacific

May 29, 2014

Inside Manus Island: sexual assault allegations rife

Documents from the Manus Island detention centre show numerous reports of asylum seekers fearful of being sexually assaulted. The Citizen journalists Michael Roddan, Chris Shearer, Rose Iser and Bec Zajac report.

Allegations of sexual assault and bullying among asylum seekers have been commonplace at the Manus Island detention centre, according to documents seen by The Citizen and supported by the comments of former employees. The alleged victims include asylum seekers who are said to be teenagers.

Former employees interviewed by The Citizen said that when they arrived on Manus Island they were informed by other workers that rape, self-harm and attempted suicide were simply a “part of the system”.

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5 comments

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5 thoughts on “Inside Manus Island: sexual assault allegations rife

  1. ianjohnno

    Not a good mix.

    Older detainees from sexually repressed cultures where male-male sexual activities occur – but are largely ignored – for much the same reason(s) as in a modern western gaol.

    Add teenagers from cultures where sexual repression is not so pervasive, and male-male sexual activity is not resorted to so much, and is generally considered improper.

    Not good to be a teenager (or young-looking) in such a place and I suspect the problem winds up in the too-hard (expensive) basket.

  2. Keith Thomas

    Do you detect a reluctance by the author of this article to make it clear that the sexual assaults are being committed by asylum seekers? I had to get to the 19th of 21 paragraphs before this was made explicitly clear.

    Why would anyone in Australia – anyone – want these predators in Australia? Is it possible they may not be refugees at all, just sexual predators along for the ride among vulnerable genuine refugees who they have targeted as their victims?

    Of all the millions of refugees in the world, let’s declare clearly and irrevocably that these vicious bullies are not wanted here. They should be sent back home with a brief of the evidence we have collected for the authorities in their own countries to deal with them as they see fit.

  3. Johny Swank

    Review into allegations of sexual and other serious assaults at the Manus Offshore Processing Centre
    http://www.immi.gov.au/about/dept-info/_files/review-manus-offshore-processing-centre-publication-sep2013.pdf

  4. Dubious Virtue

    I’m one of those people sitting on the fence with off shore processing, government’s hardline, etc.

    Sexual assault is not acceptable, no matter how well people may tie themselves up in knots excusing it.

    I think I know which side of the fence is becoming more appealing.

  5. Luke Hellboy

    Re: Keith Thomas
    In light of the previous article on the psychological damage caused by indefinite incarceration in an ‘unsafe’ environment, it is not so simple to view these incidents in a purely sexual manner. While I have zero tolerance for any sexual violence, I can not help but suspect that some of these assualts are the result of powerless, damaged people acting out against other powerless, damaged people.
    Despite the govt ‘wishing that this problem was not ours’, the responsibility of the safety and well being of vulnerable people under our “protection” is definitely ours, even though we try to outsource it to the lowest bidder.

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