Under-fire Morrison digs in
Standing firm: Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: AAP

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is staring down calls for his sacking after his U-turn concession that an asylum seeker killed during a riot on Manus Island probably suffered his injuries inside the detention centre.

Amid claims Papua New Guinean nationals employed by an Australian security company joined local police to attack asylum seekers last Monday night, Mr Morrison said he expected service providers to act lawfully.

Despite the reversal, he insisted he could still guarantee the safety of boat people who co- operated with officials inside detention centres.

Mr Morrison dug in after being forced to correct his original claim that Monday night's violence that left 23-year-old Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati dead and 62 injured mainly took place outside the Manus Island camp after detainees escaped.

The about-face came in a press release emailed to journalists on Saturday evening, allegedly where Mr Morrison stated "the majority of the riotous behaviour" had actually occurred inside the centre.

New information had also cast further doubt on whether Mr Berati died outside the camp.

At a press conference yesterday, Mr Morrison said he learnt on Saturday he had misinformed the public and "over the course of the day I went through a process of when that information could be made available and I could be confident that when it was released it was accurate".

"Information is rarely perfect so soon after the event," he said.

He said he would not be intimidated into closing the Manus Island and Nauru camps and "the people smugglers will not be so lucky" to see him resign.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott backed his minister, declaring: "You don't want a wimp running border protection.".

Mr Morrison's backtracking surprised G4S, the security company which runs the camp, with a spokesman issuing a press release that said its earlier statements were now under review because of the new information.

It said it would take the "strongest disciplinary action" against any employee found to have been involved in any wrongdoing against any person in its care.

The West Australian understands about a third of the G4S staff are locals.

As part of their rules of engagement, they are not allowed to touch the detainees and are meant to call in the PNG police mobile squad if they need to physically restrain them.

Greens leader Christine Milne said a young man had been murdered in the care of the PM and Mr Morrison and demanded the minister be sacked.

Refugee advocate Ian Rintoul also said Mr Morrison should go after relying on a concocted story blaming asylum seekers for the violence.

The West Australian

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