Bishops call on Government to respect Manus detainees

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands is asking the PNG government and the Australian government to give the asylum seekers a full and efficient refugee status determination process in the Manus Detention Centre:

  • To provide safe and humane conditions for the asylum seekers
  • Not to force the asylum seekers to return to their country if they are not safe
  • To have a detailed policy on the resettlement of refugees in PNG.

Last month the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told the ABC he believed most of the 1,035 asylum seekers at the Manus Regional Processing Centre were not genuine refugees, and would be sent home “within weeks”.

He said talks were underway with Iran and Iraq to return the men home.

A 13-day hunger strike by the detainees in Manus was suspended on Monday 26 January after security personnel stormed the compounds where the detainees were on hunger strike.

The hunger strike was against the plan by the PNG government to resettle the genuine refugees to a new camp in Manus Island under the guise of releasing them into the community.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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