Australia Responsible for Dire Conditions of Refugees

PNG's Supreme Court has blocked a move to restore basic services to Manus Island detention centre

Local people on Manus Island were never consulted about the offshore detention centres and although the Papua New Guinean government has received huge payments from Australia, little of this has trickled through to local villagers.

"Our advice to them is that common sense must prevail", Manus Police Commander David Yapu said on Monday.

More than 600 refugees and asylum seekers have barricaded themselves inside the mothballed detention center on the island.

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".

Papua New Guinea's High Court ruled past year that the Manus center, first opened in 2001, was illegal and the camp closed on October 31, when Australian-funded security staff withdrew. They already demolished our shelters.

The men fear violent reprisals from the Manus island community if they move from the camp to three transit centers, pending possible resettlement to the United States.

Peace Action Wellington says refugees have been indefinitely detained by the Australian government in illegal camps on Manus Island and are now being forcibly moved into even more precarious situation.

The Detention Centre remains restricted to the public and media personnel. "Is it the Australians, is it the immigration, or is it the asylum seekers?"

"We see that we have a role to play here, we're very eager to play that role and as I say I'll be having another conversation with the Prime Minister in the Philippines".

Ardern again reiterated New Zealand's desire to resettle 150 of the men now held in Australia's offshore detention centres despite Malcolm Turnbull turning down her offer a week prior. "No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done".

"I see the human face of this issue".

"There are no interpreters in Manus right now", he said. "I think it's clear that we don't think what's happening there as acceptable, that's why the offer's there", she said.

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