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Scott Morrison Releases Robert Cornall Report Into Manus Island And Death Of Reza Berati

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, has released the report by Robert Cornall into last February’s riot on Manus Island and the death of Reza Berati.

Morrison

The report says a Papua New Guinean man who worked for the Salvation Army led the beating that killed the Iranian asylum-seeker Reza Berati. A “brutal beating by several assailants” led to Berati’s death from a severe brain injury.

The report makes 13 recommendations. Morrison said the government would implement all of them.

The report says the violence on February 16-18 could not be attributed to any particular factor. It says frustration and anxiety about resettlement policies was one factor, aggravated by “the antagonism that had been developed between some transferees and PNG nationals employed at the centre and supporters in the local community. Some transferees treated PNG nationals employed in centre in a disrespectful and racist manner, and criticised their country”.

Statement by Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

Release of independent review of Manus disturbance

The Australian Government is committed to working with the Government of Papua New Guinea to implement the recommendations of the independent inquiry by Robert Cornall AO into the events of 16-18 February at the Manus Offshore Processing Centre (OPC), Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison said today.

The report, which is being made available to transferees and published on the department’s website, was initiated by the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), Martin Bowles PSM, following the incidents and was undertaken in cooperation with the Government of Papua New Guinea.

Mr Cornall noted that it is not possible to isolate one factor which could have mitigated injuries or damage nor is it possible to apportion blame for causing the incidents directly to one or more of the parties involved.

Minister Morrison said he welcomed the report and thanked Mr Cornall for the thoroughness of the review.

‘The death of a 24-year-old Iranian man was a tragic event and I again express the deep sympathies of the Australian government to his family,’ Minister Morrison said.

‘Significant improvements have been initiated at the Manus OPC, not only in terms of structural improvements to the site but also in relation to increased communication with the transferees and overall engagement with the wider Manus community.

‘Accountability for and management of key garrison and welfare services has been consolidated into a single service provider at both the Manus and Nauru OPCs, ensuring continuity, consistency and integration of service delivery across both sites. This change in contracting arrangements has resulted in a dramatic transformation in how these centres operate. The financial certainty provided by the ongoing funding arrangements as outlined in the 2014-15 Budget reinforces this continuity.

‘The Government of PNG has commenced the process of handing down refugee determinations and I am confident in the country’s ability to deliver settlement programmes that will support refugees to become active, independent and contributing participants in their societies,’ Minister Morrison said.

Media release from the Australian Greens.

Morrison blames Manus victims after repeatedly ignoring warnings

The Immigration Minister has shamefully used a whitewash report into the brutal attacks on the Manus Island detention camp to blame the victims for the violence, the Australian Greens have said.

“Scott Morrison’s attempt to blame the victims of this violent attack is shameful,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“Criticising the very people who had their throats slit by machetes while they ran for their lives was deceitful and grotesquely insensitive.

“The Immigration Minister is desperately trying to blame anyone but himself, even though responsibility for what happened that night falls squarely at his feet. This report makes it clear that Scott Morrison should resign as the Minister for Immigration.

“The Abbott Government repeatedly ignored warnings from service providers on the island about rising tensions and a lack of security but, tragically, those concerns were ignored.

“During the attacks, refugees were left to defend themselves against a machete and shotgun wielding mob and some were forced to barter for their lives. The Australian Government cannot keep people safe on Manus Island and the centre must be shut down immediately.

“The fact that people who carried out the attacks may still be working inside the centre shows just how disinterested the government is when it comes to the safety of refugees in their care.

“The Greens’ Senate inquiry into the violence will find the actual truth about that night’s vicious attacks.”

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