Asylum seekers have been caught up in prison violence in the past. Following revelations of "fight clubs" at Mt Eden Prison, an asylum seeker was found to have been forced into taking part. His lawyer, Deborah Manning, complained.

"He was beaten up, had food taken away from him. He was living in fear of his life," Manning explains. 

Manning believes the policy is harsh.

"It's meant to be a deterrence but New Zealand authorities refuse to look at the issue."