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Greens call for Royal Commission into offshore detention incidents and death

Media Release
Christine Milne 20 Feb 2014

The Australian Greens have called on Tony Abbott to initiate a Royal Commission into the conditions and management of Australia's offshore detention camps, which led to the death of an Iranian refugee while in Australia's care on Manus Island.

"The tragedy of a refugee killed while in Australia's care should be the final nail in the coffin for Labor and the Abbott government's morally bankrupt and cruel offshore processing regime," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne said.

"We have had far too many serious incidents in Australia's detention camps, all on Australia's watch. The seriousness of what has taken place on Manus Island requires a rigorous, independent investigation with full judicial powers and the government is able to make sure that happens today.

"We are calling on Tony Abbott to establish a Royal Commission that will shine a great big spotlight into the dark corners of exactly what happened on Manus Island, as well as the systemic abuse and failure in duty of care in these gulags."

The Greens' immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, said the Royal Commission should look at the Manus Island and Nauru detention camps from the time they were reopened by the Gillard government in 2012.

"This situation is unprecedented and it requires an unprecedented response," Senator Hanson-Young said.

"An innocent young man has been killed. The truth may be uncomfortable for the government to face but, as a robust and modern democracy, a Royal Commission is the only appropriate action that can be taken.

"This isn't about partisan politics and it's not about scoring points. This is about doing what's right by a young man who asked Australia for protection and was then let down in the worst possible way."

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