UN wants independent, transparent Manus probe

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday February 25th, 2014

 the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights is calling for for a prompt, transparent and independent investigation into the violence on Manus last week.

Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the incident highlighted the need for independent monitors to be given full and immediate access to the regional processing centre.

“It is alarming to see violence against the very individuals who seek protection,” she said

Shamdasani said states should maintain their human rights obligations when they privatised the delivery of services such as security.

She said reports that private security forces engaged to provide security services at the centre were involved in the violence were a concern. Shamdasani said states should take the necessary steps required to investigate, redress and punish human rights abuses by third parties.

Australian Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison announced over the weekend that an independent investigation was under way.

“This was a very serious incident and it is one that will take time to collect the information to determine the facts and get the answers we are all interested in getting,” Morrison said.

He said the review would take some time but must be conducted to get the answers. That was re-affirmed by visiting Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan last week.

“The Australian Department of Im­migration has appointed an independent investigator to get to the bottom of this,” Keenan said.“What we will do is conduct a thorough investigation to establish what exactly happened,” he said.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill assured the nation last week that an investigation team was in Manus.