Around six boys were reportedly tear gassed in isolation cells at the NT detention center, after which they were transferred to adult prison.
The incident occurred on August 21, 2014, according to an investigation report prepared and presented in 2016 by the Northern Territory Commissioner for Corrections. ABC Four Corners is all set to broadcast Darwin’s Don Dale Youth Detention Center’s exploitation of kids on Monday where they were locked in a room and tear gassed. The flick will also feature part of the incident in which the boys were transferred to adult prison and had fabric hoods placed over their heads.
The NT Parliament went through the report on Thursday night, which denied the claims, saying the incident reported was inaccurate and “one-sided.” The authorities stated that the incident reported from the detention center took place as a result of disobedience by the boys as they tried to escape their cells.
The investigation was started by ex-NT children’s commissioner Howard Bath. It was completed by the present Children’s Commissioner Collen Gwynne.
NT Corrections Commissioner Ken Middlebrook said the report was unfair. “I was there on that night, I was the one who authorised the use of (tear) gas because I had an obligation to bring that to an end and bring it to an end quickly,” he told 105.7 ABC Darwin on Friday.
“We had to move out of that facility, so don’t get carried away with the fact that this was some incident that we just used gas,” he added. I am not in the business of overuse of force. There were two sprays from an aerosol into the area. Now it wasn’t overuse of gas.”
On the other hand, Four Corners reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna claimed that the boys were kept in isolated cells without having access to sunlight or running water. Reports also indicated that the children, as young as 10 years old, were stripped naked and assaulted in the NT detention center.