Australians protest against teen abuse in detention centers

People in Sydney, Australia, attend what organizers called an “emergency rally” to protest against alleged child abuse in Australia's Northern Territory detention centers, July 30, 2016. (Photo by ABC)Hundreds of Australians protested Saturday against the maltreatment of minors in detention centers, less than a week after a shocking video emerged showing the abuse of aboriginal children in a prison in the Northern Territory.

Some 700 demonstrators filled the streets in Sydney to denounce the way Australian jailors treat young people in the detention centers, including hooding and physical restraint of teenagers, amid widespread criticism of the newly-surfaced case in Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.

Similar protests were also staged in Melbourne and elsewhere, as hundreds of people, most of them aboriginal, convened to call for justice for the teens.

The footage, released by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on July 25, and shot between 2010 and 2014, showed guards beating six aboriginal teenage prisoners, using tear gas against them, throwing them into cells by the neck, covering their heads with hoods and strapping them naked or half-naked to special chairs.

The shocking revelation prompted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on July 26 to order a Royal Commission, the most powerful inquiry in the country, to launch a thorough investigation into the mistreatment of children in detention.

Australia’s Northern Territory also suspended the use of hood restraints on children two days after the video was released.

“If we could see some action, some real fair and just action taken, I think that would allay some concern,” Sydney community elder Aunty Jenny Munro told the ABC on Saturday.


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