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Abused teen prisoner writes thank-you note

AAP logoAAP 26/07/2016 By Neda Vanovac

Dylan Voller, the teenager subjected to horrific abuse by Northern Territory juvenile detention officers, has written a letter thanking the public for its support.

Voller, now 18, was shown in footage on the ABC's Four Corners program being repeatedly victimised from 2010 to 2015 by guards who forcibly stripped him naked, tear-gassed him, hog-tied him, and assaulted him.

Most disturbing was the footage of Voller hooded and tied to a chair, where he was left alone for two hours after threatening to self-harm.

"I would just like to thank the whole Australian community for the support you have showed for us a boy's (sic) as well as our families I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise to the community for my wrongs and I can't wait to get out and make up for them," he wrote in a note released by his lawyers on Tuesday.

His lawyer Peter O'Brien tweeted that three of the guards from Don Dale now work at the Darwin Correctional Centre, where Voller is now being held: "He's scared for his safety."

He is calling for his client's immediate release and is suing the NT government on behalf of Voller and a 16-year-old boy who also appeared in the Four Corners footage and was tear-gassed and hog-tied by officers after escaping from his cell.

"Assault, battery and false imprisonment. It's a shame we can't sue for permanent psychological damage," Mr O'Brien tweeted.

In a press release, he said abuse seemed to be built into the NT system, with a 28-day limitation period for inmates alleging abuse by staff, compared to three to six years in other states.

"The laws of the Northern Territory are written to make it as difficult as possible for people who have been victims of state-related abuse to seek justice," Mr O'Brien said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Voller's sister Kira wept as she told ABC local radio her brother had lost hope.

"The last time I went to visit him there was no smile, there was no emotion, there was nothing, I couldn't give him anything to be positive about and that really broke me," she said.

"I want him to know he's still a person and people still love him and he still has hope for a life."

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