TEENAGE asylum seekers smashed windows and threatened guards during a rampage at Broadmeadows Detention Centre over the Easter weekend.
Sources in the centre told the Herald Sun the riot started about 12.20am yesterday, after a number of detainees witnessed a young Iranian man being transferred to an adult facility.
Men in the facility, all unaccompanied males under 18, were incensed by the decision to transfer the man and began vandalising windows, tables and “anything they could get their hands on”, the source told the Herald Sun .
“If they don’t get their way they threaten and they menace,” the source said.
Seven employees were on duty to manage the unruly youths and it is believed one of the few things not vandalised was the communal TV.
A police spokesman confirmed a triple zero call was made from the centre, reporting a group of about 100 unruly youths rioting.
“There appears to have been about four or five ringleaders who caused most of the damage,” the spokesman said.
Yesterday a mass protest outside the Maribyrnong Detention Centre, where the man has allegedly been transferred to, saw police clash with protesters.
Waving banners “let them out” and “no children in detention”, protesters alleged the man had been threatened with deportation.
An Immigration Department spokeswoman denied there had been a riot at the Broadmeadows centre and said a 23-year-old man had been transferred to more secure accommodation.
Restraint needed to be used against a “handful” of other detainees who protested against the man’s removal, the spokeswoman said.
The Federal Government has previously promised to move most of those under 18 from detention centres by June of this year.
Police were called to the detention centre about 12.20am and spent more than an hour getting the fracas under control.
During the riot, about five ringleaders smashed windows in several rooms and overturned tables.
But no one was injured or arrested as a result of the riot, the police spokesman said.