Kevin Rudd says Manus Island was not ‘perfect answer’ but defends policy
In the wake of riots that left one asylum seeker dead and many injured, the former prime minister says the hardline policy was necessary on practical and moral grounds
Michael Safi and agencies
theguardian.com, Sunday 2 March 2014 11.28 AEST
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Kevin Rudd talks to the media at a press conference at in 2013; he has now said that sending asylum seekers to PNG was ‘not a perfect answer’. Photograph: Imago/Barcroft Media
Kevin Rudd has admitted the hardline asylum-seeker policy he implemented in mid-2013 to send claimants to Manus Island was “not a perfect answer” but said his government had been facing a practical, moral and political dilemma at the time.
Iranian man Reza Berati, 23, died at the detention centre in mid-February from injuries inflicted on him during a riot. Guardian Australia has since revealed exclusive footage of harrowing scenes during the unrest in which wounded people are treated by detention centre staff at a makeshift, open-air field hospital.