News Worms
News Worms


Australia Responsible for Dire Conditions of Refugees

Australia Responsible for Dire Conditions of Refugees

The asylum seekers have barricaded themselves inside the Manus island center for the past nine days, defying attempts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to close the camp in a standoff the United Nations describes as a "looming humanitarian crisis".

They said they had exhausted their food supplies and were relying on rainwater to drink.

The men inside the camp, who include asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Syria, said they will continue to defy attempts to shut the camp.

Protesters at the gates of the Australian High Commission.

Immigration officials have returned to the Manus Island detention centre to destroy water supplies and makeshift shelters, increasing pressure on the men inside to leave.

But he said police would not use force to remove the 379 men who are still inside.

In a statement on Sunday, PNG's immigration minister, Petrus Thomas, told refugees and asylum seekers still in the centre they must leave by Monday "so that they can have access to basic necessities such as food, water, medical care and security and that the work on decommissioning of the facility ... can be completed for the PNG defence force to take complete control of their land and property".

The men were also threatened with "arrest and prosecution" if they remained at the site after fencing was demolished.

"The people on Manus need our help, they have committed no crime and shouldn't be locked up for exercising their right to seek asylum", said Emma Cullen, spokesperson for Peace Action Wellington.

Asylum seekers protest on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, in this picture taken from social media November 6, 2017.

The two leaders discussed New Zealand's longstanding offer to resettle 150 men from Australia's detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru little more than a week ago. No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done, ' she said on Sunday.

"I see the human face of this, I see the need and the role New Zealand needs to play". Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist from Iran who has been detained on Manus island for more than four years, said on Twitter that workers had begun that task. I think it's clear that we don't see what's happening there as acceptable, that's why the offer's there'.

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