Aus prisons minister fired following disturbing footage

  • 26/07/2016
Aus prisons minister fired following disturbing footage

An Australian minister has been stood down in the wake of the release of shocking footage showing young people being mistreated at a Northern Territory detention facility.

The footage was shown on ABC's Four Corners programme at the former Don Dale detention facility in Berrimah, outside Darwin.

It shows one teenager, 17-year-old Dylan Voller, strapped to a restraint chair with his head covered.

It also includes footage of him being stripped, assaulted and mistreated. He was one of six children tear-gassed at the detention centre in 2014.

Humans Rights lawyer Ruth Barson told ABC the footage amounts to torture.

At a press conference today NT Chief Minister Adam Giles announced he had taken over the portfolios of Corrections and Justice from John Elferink, the now former minister responsible for young detainees in the Northern Territory.

"Can I start by saying that anybody who saw that footage on television last night on Four Corners would undoubtedly describe it as horrific footage. I sat and watched the footage and recognised horror through my eyes," Mr Giles said.

Mr Giles said the footage that aired on ABC's Four Corners had been withheld from him, Mr Elferink and other officials in what he called a "culture of cover-up within the corrections system."

"I think there's been a culture of cover up going on for many-a-long year. The footage we saw last night going back to 2010 - and I predict this has gone on for a very long time."

That said Mr Giles sympathises with the far north Australian territory's push to rid the community of youth crime.

"They've had a gutful of cars getting smashed up, houses getting broken into, people being assaulted. There's no doubt. And the majority of the community is saying let's lock these kids up," he said.