A whistleblower who worked at the Manus Island refugee detention centre in Papua New Guinea has spoken out in an exclusive interview with Dateline, condemning it as not even fit to “serve as a dog kennel”.
Speaking to Mark Davis, the former Head of Occupational Health and Safety, Rod St George, makes a series of disturbing allegations about conditions at the Australian-run centre.
“I’ve never seen human beings so destitute, so helpless and so hopeless before,” he tells Mark, as he describes repeated instances of rape and sexual abuse between asylum seekers with the full knowledge of staff.
With no facilities to segregate or remove the abusers, Mark hears of the desperation for those continually being abused while waiting months for their asylum applications to be processed… St George says attempted suicides and self-harming are now an ‘almost daily’ occurrence.
The allegations come as the Australian Government announces all asylum seekers arriving by boat will be processed and resettled in Papua New Guinea, with the Manus centre to be expanded.
Dateline's whistleblower interview follows Mark’s disturbing story two months ago about life at Manus Island, when Australian officials at the detention centre went to great lengths to stop him filming.
Mark also puts the latest allegations to Australia’s new Immigration Minister Tony Burke, and asks him what he plans to do about it.
WATCH - Click to see Mark's exclusive report.
REACTION - Mark's story prompted a strong response from viewers and the Australian Government. Follow the 'other perspectives' links on the right-hand side of the page and look at our comments page to read more.
LOGIE NOMINATION - Mark's story has been nominated in the 2014 Logie Awards for Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report. The winner will be announced at the Logies ceremony in Melbourne on 27th April.
KEEP OUT! - Replay Mark's first story from Manus Island, broadcast in May, when he tried to gain access to film at the centre.
ASYLUM DEBATE - Follow SBS World News Australia's coverage of the ongoing debate over the treatment of asylum seekers.
On air: 23rd July 2013