Manus Island refugees protest over moves to evict them

manus

A protest is continuing at the refugee prison camp on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

On Wednesday, speakers addressed a rally of about 900 detainees demonstrating against moves to evict them.

Under PNG law the Australian-run facility must close by November after four years of operation.

The protest was a response to cuts to water and electricity at the Foxtrot compound which is part of the original facility.

In May the Australian government announced the facility would shut down after it was deemed illegal by the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea.

The Australian authorities want the refugees to move to a new site; the protesters say they are being aggressively relocated to the Transit Centre in nearby Lorengau

The East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre, the new facility on Manus Island, is intended to temporarily house refugees awaiting resettlement.

“We are not safe outside the fences, and immigration are trying to make life impossible for us inside,” said Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist who fled Iran and has been on Manus Island since 2013.

“We are protesting peacefully for our human rights, and to call on Australia to uphold its commitments to offer us protection as refugees,” he said.

The detainees, men who sought asylum in Australia, say they are being forced to settle in PNG.

Iranian refugee Amir Taghinia said at yesterday’s rally that Australian media was censoring news of the protest.

“Power and water mean nothing. Even if they cut the food we are not going to go to Lorengau, we do not want to be settled in PNG,” he said.

The men also marked the first anniversary of the death of Pakistani refugee Kamil Hussain, who Mr Boochani said had drowned while being “held against his will in an Australian concentration camp.”

 

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News category: Asia Pacific.

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