Two Iranian asylum seekers have begun a rooftop protest in the Green 1 compound on Christmas Island.
The two asylum seekers got onto the roof around 2.30pm Christmas Island time, defying attempts to talk them down.
Both have been held in detention over three years; one of them around five years.
Tensions have been rising inside the detention centre, since all compounds in Christmas Island have been locked down, since the protest began this afternoon.
A large number of Serco Emergency Response Group guards have been deployed to arrest the asylum seekers.
One of them was only released from the punishment cells hours before beginning his roof top protest.
“Christmas Island is the Guantanamo of the Australia’s onshore detention regime,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “Notorious for harsh management regime, the protest is a serious embarrassment to the government that has used the most punitive methods to suppress protests on Christmas Island.
“For years the government has said Christmas Island was going to close; they have said it again this year. Now would be a good time to make good on the promise, and close the remotest of the detention centres for good. Too many people have been kept locked away from community and legal support – often at the discretion of the Minister.
“There is no excuse for long-term detention. The asylum seekers should be released.”
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713.