|Guards at Aussie refugee dump on Manus Island kicked slain young Iranian in the head
The body of a young Iranian asylum seeker killed in violence at a controversial Australia-run detention camp on Papua New Guinea will be repatriated to his family, an Australian official said, AP reports.
Media reports said today, Reza Barati, 23, had been stomped on by refugee camp guards at Manus Island, off the Papua New Guinea coast
He sustained fatal head injuries Monday night following violence at the camp.
The incident has not been fully explained. Australian officials at first claimed they do not know what caused the violence in the camp.
Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison said Barati's body would be repatriated at his family's request, after an autopsy in Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea is one of two South Pacific nations where Australia operates makeshift camps to detain thousands of asylum seekers. Australia intercepts them at sea and sends them to camps at Manus Island or the tiny Pacific atoll nation of Nauru while their refugee claims are evaluated for resettlement in those countries.
News Corp. newspapers in Australia reported today that Barati might have been killed by out-of-control guards who stomped his head as he lay defenseless on the ground. The newspapers cited an unnamed Australian guard at the camp accusing locally hired guards of attacking Barati in a frenzy.
Morrison said he would not speculate on such media reports.
Morrison released Barati's name today, but few other details about him and declined to say why Barati had fled Iran or whether his refugee claim had been assessed.
The camp holds 1,300 asylum seekers, all men from countries including Afghanistan, Sudan's Darfur region, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria.
All the escaped asylum seekers were now either in hospitals or back in the camp, Morrison said.