Asylum seekers detained by the Australian government on Christmas Island are staging hunger strikes in protest against their treatment and forced separation from family members.
At least 78 men have joined the strike; hundreds more, including children, are participating in sit-ins. Some people are self-harming with glass and razors, and others are sewing their lips together.
Christmas Island is a tiny Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, uninhabited when first found by European explorers. Its settled population is now mostly Chinese-Australian, but the Australian government uses it as a detention camp for asylum seekers.
Successive governments have refused even to detain asylum seekers in mainland Australia, instead dumping them on remote islands.