Asylum seekers on Christmas Island have stitched their lips together as part of a hunger strike involving hundreds of detainees.
About 75 asylum seekers on Sunday reached day six of the strike, and have been joined by some 300 others, seven of whom have stitched together their lips, the Refugee Action Coalition said.
The strike is a cry for freedom and sign of solidarity for Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati, who was killed during riots on Manus Island on February 17, refugee advocates say.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison confirmed there was a protest and said it was ''under control''.
He refused to comment on details of the strike and said dramatisation such as that offered by refugee groups was unhelpful.
Authorities have locked down compounds on Christmas Island to manage the strike, a Coalition spokesman said.
''They are always warning we will be sent to Manus Island or Nauru. We need freedom,'' one detainee told the refugee coalition from inside the detention centre.
Mr Morrison said there were large numbers of Australian Federal Police and trained security personnel available on Christmas Island.
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said on Sunday that an 18-year-old asylum-seeker had tried to kill himself on Christmas Island.
''This is the tragic, human consequence of the government's cruel refugee policy,'' Senator Hanson-Young said. ''A young man came to Australia, asking for our help, and we are failing him.''
For help or information call Suicide Helpline Victoria on 1300 651 251 or Lifeline on 131 114, or visit beyondblue.org.au
The story Asylum seekers on Christmas Island stitch lips together in hunger strike first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.