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1. Asylum seeker found dead after escaping Christmas Island detention centre; guards abandon centre.
An Iranian Kurdish man in his 30s has been found dead after escaping Christmas Island detention center prompting guards to abandoned the detention centre following mass riots.
The ABC reports that the man’s body was found by Australian Federal Police yesterday after a day long search.
The Refugee Action Coalition says the man, named Fazel Chegeni escaped from the North West Point detention on Friday 6 November.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection said in a statement on their website that service provider staff reported an “illegal maritime arrival” had escaped from centre on Saturday morning.
“The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police who commenced a search and discovered a deceased person today.”
Ian Rintoul spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition said that Fazel was found to be a refugee around two and a half years ago and was released into the community in Melbourne but was re-detained after being found guilty of assault over a fight with other detainees.
He had been at Christmas Island for 10 weeks.
TVNZ reports that riots began after reports his body was found. TVNZ reports that guards have now abandoned the detention centre.
New Zealander Ricky Downs, who is being held at the centre told TVNZ “There’s fires everywhere, holes in the wall and the canteen has been smashed to pieces,” he said.
“There’s not security, there’s no response team, there’s not border control, no guards.
“They’ve freaked out and left.”
The Department of Immigration has not commented on the reports of riots.