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Australian doctors condemn “horrific” treatment of children in juvenile detention

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4329 (Published 04 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4329
  1. Paul Smith

Doctors in Australia have condemned the treatment of children in juvenile detention after film footage showing detainees being tear gassed, hooded, and stripped naked was broadcast on national television.

The country’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has ordered a royal commission into the treatment of young people in detention across the Northern Territory after the footage was shown by the Australian Broadcast Corporation on 25 July.

Leading doctors condemned the behaviour and warned of the potential psychological and physical harms faced by children in detention.

The footage was taken at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin in August 2014.

One clip showed guards laughing and calling one 14 year old inmate a “fucking idiot” following an attempted escape.

“I’ll pulverise the little fucker, grab the fucking gas, and fucking gas them through,” another guard added.

The footage then showed the child and five other teenagers who …

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