An Australian teenager, who was allegedly subjected to brutal abuse at a youth detention centre that was caught on video, has written a letter thanking the Australian public for its support.
The abuse which Dylan Voller was allegedly subjected to was revealed in the Australian Broadcasting Corp.’s (ABC) investigative program Four Corners expose which aired Monday. The investigation exposed horrific abuse youths allegedly faced at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, in the Northern Territory city of Darwin.
In the video, Voller is seen shackled to a chair with a hood over his head where he was reportedly left alone for hours.
Voller, who was 13 years old at the time of the alleged abuse, issued a statement apologizing for his wrong doings and thanking ABC for “getting the truth out there.”
“I would just like to thank the whole Australian community for the support you have showed for us boy’s (sic) as well as our families I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to the community for my wrongs and I can’t wait to get out and make up for them,” the teen wrote in a letter released by his lawyers.
Dylan Voller has instructed us to release this letter: pic.twitter长沙桑拿/yJoZHoAgJn
— Peter O’Brien (@OBrienSolicitor) July 26, 2016
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he would launch a Royal Commission – Australia’s highest form of inquiry – and suggested there had been an institutional coverup of the scandal. Rights groups, however, scoffed at the coverup claim, saying officials had ignored evidence of abuse in the corrections system for years.
The video evidence, aired by ABC, is from multiple videos taken between 2010 and 2015.
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“We are determined to get to the bottom of this, we’re determined to examine the extent to which there has been a culture of abuse and, indeed, whether there has been a culture of a coverup,” Turnbull told reporters. “Why was this abuse, this mistreatment, unrevealed for so long?”
In a 2014 incident, officials said guards used tear gas to subdue six teens who had staged a riot. However, the ABC footage appears to show that the tear gas was used after just one teen escaped his cell, while the other five remained locked in their cells. The guards are heard laughing as the teens cough and cry after multiple shots of tear gas were fired into the isolation wing where they were housed. One of the detainees can be heard saying he can’t breathe.
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In another video, a guard is seen picking up Voller and hurling him across the room onto his bed. Voller is also seen in footage being stripped naked and held face-down on his bed by three guards after he apparently threatened to hurt himself.
In the letter, the teen thanked his lawyers, and the broadcasting company “for all the help in getting the truth out there to the public and my family for all the support through the hard times.”
The Four Corner’s broadcast compared the detention centre to Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay.
The Australian prime minister said the commission is expected to begin hearing into the alleged abuse in September.
WATCH: Australia launches investigation into abuses at teen detention centre
-With files from The Associated Press.