Asylum seeker strip-searched during police raid on Manus compound

Sources have told me that PNG police raided Delta compound at the Manus Island detention centre on Wednesday morning. During the raid, an asylum seeker was allegedly strip-searched by Wilson Security guards and asked to submit to a body cavity search.

Sources say asylum seekers’ personal property was thrown around their rooms during the search of the compound.

A leaked Transfield document says 13 mobile phones, one tablet, 1735 Kina, and $US100 was found during the search.

Asylum seeker: “They came to us suddenly at 6am and we didn’t know anything. They ask us to wake up. They [Wilson Security] say ‘Come out! Come out! Come out!’ Some PNG police were outside our room, and many, many guards.”

One source has told me there were about 50–60 Wilson Security guards in Delta compound, and about 20 PNG police officers.

Asylum seeker: “After that they assemble us in the corner of the compound and they [Wilson Security] search our body by some electronic thing [security wand].”

The asylum seeker explains that the use of the security wand is common practice in the detention centre.

“They use electronic thing every time if you want to go to medical, or if you want to go to see lawyer, excursion, everything, when you want to go outside, to use Internet, telephone, they use electronic thing to search our body.”

“After that, they attacked our room, threw our facilities like our bed, our pillow, anything we had, and they searched inside our personal facilities.”

“After 5 hours they say to us ‘you can come back to your room’ and they search our body again by electronic thing, electronic searcher, then when we came to our room.”

The asylum seeker says he witnessed Wilson Security guards strip-search another asylum seeker.

Asylum seeker: “They say ‘We want to search your body’. He say ‘Why we want to search my body?’ They say ‘We need to search your body’. He took off his Tshirt, he took off his shorts. After that they say ‘We want to see your bottom’. He say ‘Why you want to see my bottom? You searched my body by electronic searcher’. They say ‘No, we want to see your bottom, please take off your underwear’. He was very, very angry, this man has big problem with his mental [health].”

Asylum seeker: “They use electronic thing, they touch his body, his hips, by hands, but over his shorts. They touch his body over his shorts. They ask him to take off his underwear.”

The asylum seeker who was strip searched has written a complaint to Transfield:
“There was a searching today in Delta compound and they searched all the rooms and personal items but they wanted to search me in a different way. They disrespected me and they dishonoured me. They forced me to be naked to check my private area to make sure that I’m not carrying anything. I took my t-shirt and shorts off but they wanted to pull my underwear down but I refused it. They have driven me crazy and it affects on my old mental issue.”

A large group of asylum seekers in Delta compound have also written a complaint to Transfield:
“We are a big group of transferees who are staying Delta. The Willson and Transfield searched our personal properties and even they wanted to get some of our friends naked as a disrespect and insulting to us. We condemn such a these awful decision and we ask you to stop them to treat us like this.”

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