Australian immigration detainees charged over riot

AP News
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Posted: May 04, 2011 8:50 PM

Seven detainees at an Australian immigration center have been charged in connection with a riot started by asylum seekers whose visa applications had been rejected.

The Australian Federal Police charged the men Thursday with a variety of offenses, include affray and destroying property at Sydney's Villawood Detention Center. A massive fire started during the riot destroyed nine buildings.

About 100 people were involved in last month's protest. No one was injured.

Many of the people housed at Villawood are asylum seekers, but the facility also houses people who have overstayed their visas. Officials say the protest was led by asylum seekers who had their visa applications rejected.

The men will appear in court later Thursday.