Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for the establishment of a royal commission following the revelation of maltreatment of boys in Northern Territory juvenile detention center.
Prior to the prime minister, it was NT Chief Adam Giles who expressed his disappointment on the vision of the sites that aired on Monday. He said that he was “shocked and disgusted” to learn about the mistreatment, and hence, he wanted a royal commission to be set up to inspect ill elements within the system.
While Turnbull announced establishing the commission, he mentioned Giles’ opinion in his statement. “This is a shocking state of affairs and we will move quickly to establish what happened; as Gillian Triggs said last night, this needs a thorough inquiry,” the PM said.
“We will get to the bottom of what happened here: we want to know how this came about, what lessons can be learned from it, why there were inquiries that did not turn up this evidence,” he added.
ABC’s Four Corner’s show aired a video footage on Monday that featured six boys being ill treated at the old Don Dale detention unit in Berrimah. The prime minister told the ABC radio that Australians, including him, were shocked by the vision. The show inspected the long reported injustices done to the detained. The call for an investigation and the improvement of the justice system have been constant in this regard.
The footage showed how the six boys were tear gassed in a locked room. Later, they were transferred to the adult detention center where they were stripped naked and held down physically by guards from time to time.
Turnbull’s call for action has come following the comments of Australian Human Rights Commission’s President Gillian Triggs. She said that NT detention center’s treatment of juveniles was the reflection of how Australia has been treating the detainees for a long time. She added that it was the manifestation of a detention culture of the Aussies where there were incidents of “increased detention without trial.”
Meanwhile, Labor Indigenous affairs shadow assistant minister Pattrick Dodson appreciated the step taken by Turnbull with a request to not restrict the investigation to Don Dale detention center alone but focus on the detention unit justice system as a whole.