• Hundreds of people in Melbourne take part in a rally against rights abuses at Darwin's Don Dale detention centre. (AAP)Source: AAP
A candlelight vigil planned for outside Don Dale Youth Corrections Facility, the scene of of shocking footage of apparent abuses, will call for urgent intervention to move youths still being held at the facility.
By
Robert Burton-Bradley

Source:
NITV News
3 Aug 2016 - 12:31 PM  UPDATED 3 Aug 2016 - 12:31 PM

A protest planned for tonight will call on the Northern Territory Government to move youths still being held at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre following allegations of abuse at the facility.

Disturbing footage aired by ABC’s Four Corners Program from inside the facility showing teenage boys being tear gassed and tied to chairs with restraints and spit hoods last week prompted the Federal Government to call a royal commission into detention facilities in the NT.

Joining the vigil is Colin Rogan whose brother was of one of the youths shown in the Four Corners report and was himself previously held at Don Dale.

"Personally I can't believe they are still there, now the Government can change this immediately."

"Personally I can't believe they are still there, now the Government can change this immediately. I'm not saying releasing these kids onto the street, however in the past, the government has taken over an entire private hotel - why can't we do something like this," he told NITV. 

The facility where most of the abuse in the Four Corners footage took place was closed in 2014 with the current Don Dale facility, formerly Berrimah Men's Prison.

25 youths are currently detained at Don Dale have yet to be moved

It was reported by the ABC last week the youths might be moving to Wickham Immigration Detention Centre, however NITV understands the 25 youths are currently detained at Don Dale have yet to be moved.

Brandis defends royal commissioner's tweet
The Attorney-General has defended an emotional tweet Mick Gooda fired off days before being appointed to a royal commission into NT juvenile detention centres.

A spokesman for the NT department of Corrections said the former Wickham Immigration Detention Centre was not suitable as a new location.

“The idea of moving the Darwin youth detention facility to Wickham was briefly considered and investigated but the logistical requirements that this would entail and the immediate unsuitability of the facility meant the option was not feasible in the short term and a decision was made to keep the facility at Berrimah,” he said.

The Federal Government has announced two royal commissioners, social justice commissioner Mick Gooda and former Queensland Supreme Court justice Margaret White to head the inquiry.  Former NT chief justice Brian Martin quit on Monday from his position as head of the inquiry over a perceived conflict of interest. 

Alasdair Hill, volunteer with Darwin Amnesty International Action group and organiser of the vigil called for independent monitoring of NT detention facilities.

“We trust our justice system to be fair and just. The Four Corners footage demonstrated to people in the Northern Territory, and across the world, that children in detention in Australia are being failed by our justice system."

“We trust our justice system to be fair and just. The Four Corners footage demonstrated to people in the Northern Territory, and across the world, that children in detention in Australia are being failed by our justice system. Our juvenile detention centres need independent monitoring, now,” said Alasdair Hill, volunteer with Darwin Amnesty International Action group and organiser of the vigil.

Both Corrections Minister Adam Giles, or the Corrections Commissioner Mark Payne have been approached for comment.

The vigil will be held tonight, at 7pm Wednesday, 3 August 2016. Outside the Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre.


 

For all the latest Indigenous news, features and video content at NITV like us on Facebook and Twitter