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Detainees storm through detention centre

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All guards – including the “emergency response team” – withdrew from two compounds within Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) North in Broadmeadows on Boxing Day, leaving detainees in control.Detainees from the compounds beat down the fences separating them around 8pm, according to activist organisation Refugee Action Coalition (RAC). They then began to demonstrate on the roofs of the compounds for at least four hours. The Herald Sun understands the men were protesting against the ban on visitors, which they claimed was a form of punishment by the Australian Border Force. Despite a Covid-safe visiting area being built inside MITA, visits have reportedly been banned for more than a year.A Victoria Police spokesman said all detainees returned to their rooms after the protest and no injuries were reported.“Police responded to reports of a disturbance at MITA in Broadmeadows shortly after 8pm on Boxing Day,” the spokesman said.“Victoria Police assisted the facility provider and ABF to deal with the disturbance.”RAC spokesman Ian Rintoul said MITA should be closed. “Detainees have the right to be treated as human beings,” Mr Rintoul said.“Many of the detainees have families in the community who could safely accommodate them; instead they are separated from them – putting their mental and physical health at greater risk.” The detention centre, located close to Melbourne Airport, is split into two main complexes.MITA North, made up of four compounds, is a high-security complex used to detain adult men.Border Force officers must detain unlawful non-citizens who have arrived without a valid visa, with a cancelled visa or an expired visa. The Australian Border Force has been contacted for comment.



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