Immigration Minister rejects new claims of asylum seeker abuse

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison (AAP)

The Immigration Minister has rejected new claims that navy officers deliberately burnt the hands of asylum seekers during an Operation Sovereign Borders boat turn-back operation in January.

A Sudanese asylum seeker has appeared on the ABC alleging officers intentionally burnt his hands.

A second asylum seeker claims to have seen Australian navy personnel deliberately burn the hands of three other asylum seekers, including those of the first man.

It follows earlier reports from the ABC alleging officer misconduct.

Scott Morrison is refusing to release the details of the navy's internal assessment of the incident.

But speaking on the ABC, he's dismissed the claims are baseless, and they will not be investigated further.

"They've given me their assurance. I believe their assurance. I don't believe what I saw last night (ABC report). I simply don't believe it. I chose to believe the assessment that is given to me by the Navy. I know others are doubting those assessments. They are free to do that. It's a free country. I believe the Navy."

The asylum seekers are now in immigration detention in Indonesia and say no Australian officials have investigated their claims, but they could identify individuals involved.

Source: SBS

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