Closure of Manus Detention centre leaves refugees and asylum seekers stranded

Australia’s migrant and refugee detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea is to be closed.

With very few of the refugees willing to be resettled in Papua New Guinea, it is unclear where the refugees and asylum seekers will go after Manus closes.

Australia’s immigration minister Peter Dutton has made it clear that those on Manus will never be resettled in Australia.

“While people smugglers continue to target Australia, the Coalition Government has ensured no boats have made it here in the past two years and more. This effort to combat people smugglers must and does continue,” Dutton says.

Some in Papua New Guinea are unhappy with the prospect of hundreds of asylum seekers being resettled into their country and there have been reports of asylum seekers being attacked by locals.

The prime minster of Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill said a series of options are being advanced. It was important that the process is not rushed, but carried out in a careful manner, as they consider options, he said

Papua New Guinea’s supreme court ruled in April that holding people against their will on Manus is illegal. The country’s top judge Sir Salamo Injia last month expressed frustration that Papua New Guinea and Australia’s governments were not complying with the ruling by closing the centre.

There are more than 900 men held on Manus, who were forcibly transferred there by Australia since 2013 after fleeing from countries such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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