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Asylum seeker sues Australia after losing eye in detention centre riots

Published on Jul 1, 2014 12:18 PM

SYDNE (AFP) - An asylum seeker who lost his eye during a riot at an Australian immigration detention centre in Papua New Guinea sued the government and British security firm G4S on Tuesday for compensation.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn said the asylum seeker, who is in his 30s but was not named, had his right eye removed and a titanium plate and screws inserted into his face. It followed "severe head trauma", a ruptured eye and fractures he suffered during unrest in February at the camp on Manus Island.

"Our client has suffered enormously, both physically and psychologically, because of what we say is the failure of the (Australian) Commonwealth and G4S to provide a safe and secure environment for people at the Manus Island detention centre," Maurice Blackburn principal Jane McDermott said.

She added that the man - who arrived in Australia by boat from Indonesia in October - was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, and was also being assessed for a brain injury.

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