One Dead in Australian Asylum Facility Riot in Papua New Guinea

Violence erupts as asylum seekers languish in controversial detention center

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© Daniel Munoz / Reuters / REUTERS

A man holds a poster during a raly in support of asylum seekers in central Sydney July 20, 2013.

One person is dead and more than 70 injured after a riot erupted at an Australia detention center in Papua New Guinea, where asylum seekers are growing increasingly hostile to Canberra’s controversial immigration policy.

According to the AFP, the situation at the camp on Manus Island had been growing especially tense until fighting broke out, allowing 35 people to escape on Sunday night after weeks of protests. The violence reportedly continued into Monday.

“This is a tragedy but this was a very dangerous situation where people decided to protest in a very violent way and to take themselves outside the center and place themselves at great risk,” Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told the news agency.

The Australian government in 2012 reestablished the camps in Papua New Guinea, which are used to process immigrants who are later resettled outside of Australia in-line with the new hardline immigration policy championed by conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott.