Australians protest against unfolding 'emergency' in offshore detention camp

Nov 06, 2017, 00:25
Australians protest against unfolding 'emergency' in offshore detention camp

Canberra has been forced on the defensive by the move from Wellington's new government, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying Australia would instead prioritise a similar deal with the USA to resettle refugees in America, despite slow progress.

The local boat owner was later released.

About 600 men have barricaded themselves inside the camp Manus island in Papua New Guinea, defying efforts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to shut it down.

Since the centre's closure last Tuesday, food, water, power and medical services were cut from the centre, where about 600 refugees are refusing to leave.

"Australia deny to give our fundamental rights such as water and food", said Adam.

United Nations rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news conference in Geneva on Friday about the "unfolding humanitarian emergency" in the Manus island center, where asylum seekers have been reportedly digging wells to try to find water.

"It's quite distressing to see the Greens ramping up the tempo on Manus Island because I don't want to see any incident there".

But Manus refugee Behrouz Boochani told NZ Newswire the U.S. agreement was a lie. The units have been built by Australia in the PNG community of Lorengau.

"As the prime minister at the time I honoured the arrangement of the previous government but once the processing was completed, my government put a stop to this so-called Pacific Solution", Sir Michael said in his statement, adding any resettlement needs support services.

Recorded messages from detainees on Manus Island have been played to a rally of hundreds of supporters in Melbourne's CBD.

"We have to move them without any use of physical force and their transfers from the centre to the new locations must be done orderly and smoothly and without any force", Manus Provincial Police Commander David Yapu said.

New Zealand has made the offer before but Australia has declined on the grounds it could allow the refugees access to Australia.

'We should give consideration to what New Zealand is offering, ' he told Sky News on Sunday.

"As I have said in New Zealand, we of course do not have the circumstances that Australia is operating under, but we also can not ignore the human face of what Australia is dealing with either", she said.

New Zealand's newly elected Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has reiterated an offer to take 150 refugees from offshore centres in her first meeting with Malcolm Turnbull.

"I acknowledge that, while New Zealand has not had to contend with these issues on our shores, it's hard to ignore the human face of this situation and nor should it be ignored", wrote Ardern.

Sir Michael called Australia's treatment of refugees "ruthless" and "hypocritical", saying the agreement was that they be resettled elsewhere and not in PNG. "You can't keep political hostages". They want us to be resettled in Papua new Guinea where even the people of Papua New Guinea they do not want us to resettle in their country.

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