The Australian government is investigating its youth justice system after footage made public Monday showed teens being mistreated in ways that brought to mind the abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the Guardian reports. The footage from Don Dale Youth Detention Centre shows a 17-year-old tied to a mechanical restraint chair for two hours with a hood over his head. According to ABC, the chair was used on the boy when he was as young as 11. The footage also shows a 13-year-old being stripped naked and held down on his bed in one incident and thrown across a room in another, the AP reports. Back in 2014, officials said they used tear gas on six youths who were rioting. The footage shows only one of those teens was even out of his cell; two were calmly playing cards when they were gassed. Guards could be heard laughing as the teens choked.
Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull tells the Guardian he was "deeply shocked...and appalled" by the footage. “The important thing is to get to the bottom of what happened at Don Dale and there may be other matters connected to that to be looked into, ” Turnbull says. Those other matters include the fact that 96% of young detainees in the Northern Territory, where Don Dale is located, are Indigenous youths. Officials are blaming a "culture of cover-up" within the justice system, but rights groups aren't buying it, arguing instead that the problem has been ignored by officials for years because the victims are Indigenous people. Six former Don Dale detainees are now suing. (Read more youth detention center stories.)