SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday ordered a probe after a video showing the mistreatment of aboriginal children by prison guards at a juvenile detention center.
The video shows guards teargassing teenage inmates six aboriginal boys and strapping a half-naked, hooded-boy to a chair.
The footage of the abuse has raised questions about Australia’s treatment of Aborigines and their high imprisonment rate.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) also aired CCTV footage late on Monday of boys in a Northern Territory juvenile detention center being stripped naked, thrown by the neck into a cell, and held for long periods in solitary confinement.
“Our (indigenous) people have known about things like this…and to just see it laid bare in front of us last night must be a wake-up call to everyone in Australia – that something’s got to be done about the way we lock our people up in this country, and particularly the way we lock our kids up,” an emotional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda told reporters.
“What we saw last night is an absolute disgrace,” he said.
Earlier, a report into prison abuse published by the Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner in 2015 found fault with the guards’ behavior, but the findings were disputed by the then head of prisons and not acted upon, said the ABC.