video has emerged of an Australian teenager strapped into a
mechanical restraint chair, wearing a ''spit hood'', as part of his
punishment in a youth detention centre.
disturbing footage, which aired on the ABC's Four
was part of an investigation into the mistreatment and abuse of
youths at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin.
boy in the footage was identified as Dylan Voller, a 17-year-old boy
who was a detainee at the centre.
was allegedly abused numerous times over a five-year period from
is also one of six boys held in isolation cells at the detention
centre, where they were teargassed in 2014.
footage of teens in 2014 at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre and again
last year in the old Berrimah adult prison that replaced Don Dale.
Don Dale, teens kept in the isolation wing known as the Behavioural
Management Unit (BMU) were allegedly locked in tiny cells for almost
24 hours a day with no running water and little natural light.
was handcuffed and hooded and strapped to a chair for two hours after
he threatened to hurt himself while in the adult prison.
the footage, guards ordered Voller to walk backwards into an
isolation cell before asking the guards why his mattress was taken
officers were heard saying Voller had misbehaved by chewing on his
prison officers filmed him being strapped into the chair by his
ankles, wrists, shoulders and neck while wearing a "spit hood"
to stop him spitting on them.
was left in the room for almost two hours by himself.
the guards returned he was still in the chair with the restrictive
spit hood still on.
he was just 11, Voller has been charged with offences including
aggravated assault and robbery.
is being held at Darwin's adult prison now. His lawyers claim he has
been subjected to ongoing assaults and institutionalisation.
more footage obtained by Four
other alleged abusee, Voller was thrown across his cell, kneed and
knocked to the ground, stripped naked and sent to solitary
confinement. He was also held face down for three minutes in a
hogtied position by one guard.
programme also showed shocking footage of children being teargassed,
which was described as a "riot" at the time by media.
was previously reported that boys had escaped their cells in the
isolation wing of the prison, and were threatening staff.
six boys were exposed to the teargas. Five of the teenage boys were
still locked inside their cells, and not all of them were misbehaving
at the time to warrant such extreme discipline.
the teargassing, the Don Dale Detention Centre was closed and all
children were moved to the Berrimah adult prison.
the Northern Territory Government commissioned an independent report,
NT children's commissioner Colleen Gwynne told Four
were still issues with youth detention in the Northern Territory.
being shackled to chairs a la Guantanamo Bay," barrister John
Lawrence told the ABC.
is actually happening in Australia in 2016."
NT Government's tear-gassing and "torture" of children in
detention at Don Dale is a "national disgrace that demands a
national inquiry", the Sydney-based law firm representing two of
the youths said.
being shackled to chairs a la Guantanamo Bay. This is actually
happening in Australia in 2016.
O'Brien, a lawyer representing two boys suing the NT Government for
alleged detention centre abuse said: "The Four
on the horrific treatment of children has exposed a national disgrace
that demands a national inquiry.
Royal Commission into the treatment of children in Northern Territory
detention is essential to determine the extent and impact of the
abuse, to determine why this abuse was allowed to occur, and who knew
about it," he said.
abuse is chronic and appears systematic. Our clients have suffered at
the hands of those charged to protect them," he dded.
treatment of these children is a national disgrace. They are the most
vulnerable members of society, and yet the footage shown on Four
the most appalling behaviour being perpetrated against them."
the ABC's Q&A programme,
Australian's human rights chief Gillian Triggs called for a
government inquiry into the facility.
certainly need some kind of government-based independent commission,"
said the footage of the detention centres was "extremely
I have never seen conditions of that kind and I have never seen
people treated in that way. We clearly need some kind of
investigation into this."
Services Minister John Elferrink said he had not seen many of the
videos, including one where guards were saying "I'll pulverise
the f***er" as a young man in isolation was yelling at windows.
demonstrates a lack of training," he told Four
"When matters come to me I make sure they're investigated."
Since 2014 the government has extended staff training from four days
to eight weeks.
and human rights activists have called for the facility to be shut
down for good and called on the federal government to intervene.