'Protesting' at Christmas Island detention centre – Davis

The Christmas Island detention centre is in a state of chaos after riots broke out, according to Labour's Kelvin Davis.

Mr Davis, who recently visited the island, says violence broke out after a guard allegedly punched a detainee in the face for asking about a refugee who died days after escaping from the centre.

"[A source at the centre] reports that things aren't good, although the riot squad [and] the guards have all disappeared, so I think it's the calm before the storm – they'll be in soon and start waving their batons, I think," Mr Davis told the Paul Henry programme.

"One guy I spoke to said that they're afraid, they're scared they're going to be shot. He said, 'Can you please get people to come over and see the evidence of their injuries once the dust has settled?'"

Mr Davis says he believes people at the centre chose to contact him about the situation because he had made the effort to meet with them.

"They trust me and really I'm the only person in New Zealand who's made any real contact," he says. "This is what happens when you treat people like animals – you lock them up indefinitely and give them no hope, they just come out fighting."

Meanwhile, Australian journalist Jason Morrison told the Paul Henry programme the story has yet to gain any traction in Australia, but will as the day goes on.

"The only source we can find, that we'll call a primary source, is a New Zealand politician [Mr Davis] who's in fact jumped on Twitter and spread this story – there are no other indications, at this stage, that this has happened," he says.

"It's very, very difficult to get any information about what's happening on Christmas Island, just by the very nature of it, because I guess communications are things that inspire further activity so they kind of keep chatter to a minimum."

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