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Australia Prison Guards Taped Strapping Half-Naked Hooded Boy to Chair

 / Updated  / Source: Reuters
Image: A teenage boy strapped into a chair
A teenage boy was strapped into a chair at a youth detention center in Darwin, Australia.ABC via AFP - Getty Images

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Prison guards in Australia have been taped teargassing teenage inmates and strapping a half-naked boy wearing a hood to a chair.

The footage aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation prompted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to order an inquiry Tuesday into the treatment of children in detention.

Turnbull said it was clear that mistreatment had occurred after the network aired security-camera footage late Monday of inmates in a juvenile detention center being stripped naked, thrown by the neck into a cell, and held for long periods in solitary confinement.

Image: A teenage boy allegedly being pushed by prison guards at a youth detention center in Australia
A teenage boy allegedly being pushed by prison guards at the youth detention center.ABC via AFP - Getty Images

"Like all Australians, I've been deeply shocked — shocked and appalled by the images of mistreatment of children," Turnbull said on ABC radio as he announced a Royal Commission, Australia's most powerful, state sanctioned inquiry.

"We're going to move swiftly and decisively to get to the bottom of this," said Turnbull, who announced the Royal Commission within hours of the video being aired.

The surveillance footage in the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin was shot between 2010-2014, according to the ABC. A report into some of the incidents by the Northern Territory Children's Commissioner in 2015 found fault with the guards' behavior, but the findings were disputed by the then head of prisons and not acted upon, the ABC reported.

The video showed guards mocking inmates, carrying a boy by the neck and throwing him onto a mattress in a cell, and covering a teenager's head with a hood and shackling him to a chair with neck, arm, leg and foot restraints.

Image: A teenage boy strapped into a chair
A teenage boy was strapped into a chair at a youth detention center in Darwin, Australia.ABC via AFP - Getty Images

"If one of us were to have been found to have treated our children in this way we would probably be charged with a criminal offence and the children would be taken away from us," said Australia's Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs, who backed the inquiry.

Turnbull added: "There are many issues of concern here and we will get to the bottom of it and we will appoint a very thorough, meticulous examiner of this."

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