Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Removal of refugees from Manus Island center in works

Removal of refugees from Manus Island center in works

Malcolm Turnbull is urging nearly 600 men holed up inside the mothballed immigration detention facility on Manus Island to comply with Papua-New Guinea law and move to alternative accommodation.

Ten days after utilities were cut off at the Manus Island detention centre, PNG police have confirmed they have started forcing refugees and asylum seekers to leave the location.

"The State party should also address the conditions of detention in immigration facilities, provide adequate mental healthcare, refrain from applying force or physical restraints against migrants and ensure that all allegations of use of force against them are promptly investigated", it said.

Australian immigration minister, Peter Dutton, said the photos showed the men had trashed the facility since it was officially closed last week.

Mr Dutton called the plan a "bad option" as people smugglers could take the opportunity to market NZ as an alternative pathway to Australia.

Up to 40 men are sleeping in one room, some on mattresses.

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A United Nations spokesperson on Manus, Catherine Stubberfield, said alternative accommodation being prepared 30km away in the island's main town, Lorengau, appeared unable to house all the men Australia had exiled to the island.

"As its name suggests, the East Lorengau Regional Transit Centre is intended for temporary stay", Ms Stubberfield said.

"The facilities are completed", he said on Wednesday.

Despite the warning, several of the asylum seekers said on social media that they still would not leave the site.

Australian Greens Senator Nick McKim arrived at the Manus Island detention center for the second time on Friday, writing on Facebook the situation was "teetering on the edge of tragedy".

"Progress is being made, but the site is not yet ready".

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Australian activists are continuing to work to help the refugees.

Ol despla pipal iwok long tok olsem oli no laik lusim senta long wonem oli wari nogut ol pipal blong Manus bai kamapim bagarap long ol, tasol chairman blong wanpla NGO grup em oli kolim Pacific islands charity, Gabriel Popat itok emi laik askim olsem sopos ol asylum seeka na refugees i tok Manus emi nogutpla ples, oraet blong wonem na oli bin lusim ol kantri blong ol na nau oli painim ol iet long Manus. "Greater understanding is needed for the perspectives of these vulnerable human beings, who have already suffered immensely", said Thomas Albrecht, UNHCR's Regional Representative in Canberra.

Refugee Behrouz Boochani told Larry Williams they fear being beaten up.

The site's closure follows a PNG Supreme Court ruling a year ago, that the refugees - who were not allowed to leave the Australian-run immigration center - were being deprived of their personal liberty in April 2016.

The note given to Manus Island detainees in Port Moresby.

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