Prisoners fearful as chaos reigns on Christmas Island

Reinforcements have now arrived on the island
Reinforcements have now arrived on the island

Prisoners being held on Christmas Island say they are scared for their safety after riots broke out at the detention centre.

There are more than 200 detainees on the island, more than 50 of them are New Zealanders indefinitely awaiting their fate.

Conditions were already terrible at the jail, but now with parts of the centre on fire and the guards fleeing, it's terrifying.

"I have to get out of this, cause there's a fire, I'm scared, please help me, I don't know what to do," says Christmas Island detainee Francesco Marsamo.

"The officers have abandoned us and I'm really, really scared, I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't know if I'm going to survive."

The riot started after Fazel Chegeni, an Iranian Kurdish asylum seeker, was found dead after he escaped. Other asylum seekers demanded answers but were told nothing by the guards.

"They killed this person, they murdered him, we know that for a fact, how could he escape?" says detainee Ricardo Young. "[He] tried to come back, they electrocuted him, then bashed him - he had a cracked head, and bruises all over him. They're covering everything up."

Young has been held there for 10 weeks; he's waiting for the Serco guards to return and exact revenge for the riot.

"They're going to come in and bash us all," he says. "They're going to get us individually and bash us and break our bones."

He filed papers to get out and return to New Zealand a month ago and is furious he's still there.

"Our Prime Minister's not helping us, and he calls himself a New Zealander."

Labour MP Kelvin Davis visited the island last month. He says the Government's response is a joke and that Australia needs to take responsibility.

"Their law is an arse, I think they've lost the plot," says Mr Davis. "I think they need to take a step back and see what they're doing to cause these situations."

That's unlikely though, and now reinforcements have arrived, with 200 guards landing on the island ready to take back control.

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