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Police investigate alleged gang-rape inside Villawood detention centre

NSW Police are investigating an incident at Sydney’s Villawood detention centre following allegations that a male detainee was gang-raped by three other detainees.

Police have confirmed detectives from Bankstown Local Area Command are investigating an incident reported to have occurred on July 4. The incident, if proven, raises serious questions about the duty of care provided to those the federal government keeps locked behind wire in immigration detention.

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Fairfax Media has been told of an alleged violent attack last month in which a male detainee was raped by three other male detainees in an area of the detention centre not covered by security cameras.

“It was in a blind spot … where the cameras don’t pick anything up,” a source who claimed to have knowledge of the incident said.

Villawood detention centre in Sydney.
Villawood detention centre in Sydney.  Photo: Kate Geraghty

The insider, who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution, expressed concern at the safety of detainees inside the centre.

“These things shouldn’t be bloody happening, it’s just wrong. The people in there are still human beings, you don’t do things like that and treat them the way they are being treated.”

Under the Border Force Act introduced in July last year, those who disclose inside knowledge of incidents inside detention centres can be jailed for two years.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection did not dispute that the alleged incident occurred, and said it was referred to NSW Police.

Police said no charges have been laid and inquiries are continuing.

The source told Fairfax Media that the victim was released from Villawood following the alleged attack.

The department spokesman confirmed that “this individual has been released from immigration detention” and added “the alleged incident was not a factor in this process”. 

The source claimed the victim was given alcohol and drugs prior to the attack, and that the alleged perpetrators had also been drinking alcohol.

The high rate at which illicit drugs and alcohol was smuggled into the centre by visitors was “unbelievable”, the source said.

“Most of the guys in there are on drugs. They’ve got nothing else to do, the boredom there kills people.

“They have nothing so they get frustrated, annoyed, depressed, and they take this stuff.”

Claims of drug-taking and alcohol consumption at the centre stretch back as far as 2008, including allegations that staff were involved in selling drugs to detainees.

Comment has been sought from the department on the claims of drug and alcohol use inside the centre.

Do you know more? Email nicole.hasham@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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