Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Australian Minister calls New Zealand a 'bad option' for Manus Island refugees

Australian Minister calls New Zealand a 'bad option' for Manus Island refugees

Overturned rubbish bins used to store rainwater.

The journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani said the shelters were constructed by the refugees to provide shade and cover.

Yesterday, workers began removing the high security fences around the centre and PNG Immigration authorities warned the safety of the men inside "is not guaranteed".

Australia's 1958 Migration Act allows removal of an unlawful non-citizen regardless of the risk of returning them to a country where they may face death or persecution, the committee said, ignoring the principle of not sending refugees back to danger, known as "non-refoulement". "I want to be there with them".

Now around 600 refugees are refusing to leave accommodation at a formerly Australian run detention centre.

Speaking with SBS Punjabi earlier this week Ravinder Singh said the men on Manus had been "treated much worse than criminals, even though we haven't committed any crime". These men are sick, thirsty and hungry. "They can not continue to play with people's lives".

Papua New Guinean officials started destroying makeshift shelters at Manus Island detention center, built by the remaining 600 refugees and asylum seekers who refuse to relocate, a day before the slated deadline for forcible removal set by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

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Mr Singh has been on Manus since he was forcibly removed from Christmas Island in 2014.

"No photos can ever show the full reality of Manus prison camp". Several migrants said people were crying.

But Mr Boochani accused Mr Dutton of "feeding the Australian people propaganda".

On Sunday, during her first visit to Australia as prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern renewed her country's offer to take 150 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru, the site of a second Australian detention center.

East Lorengau has been opened for a couple of years and had cost Australian taxpayers millions of dollars, he said.

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

Mr. Turnbull said Australia would not take up the offer "at this time".

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

There's no electricity, the rooms are cramped and there's no fresh water.

Australian activists are continuing to work to help the refugees.

"There is also an urgent need to enhance sanitation facilities, as only four toilets and three urinals would so far be available for the 100 refugees". "I tried to go back to Manus, but they won't let me".

Healthcare and support services for refugees in Lorengau town would also be inadequate, the United Nations said.

News Corp on Wednesday published photographs of unfinished facilities on Manus Island, which it said cast doubt on the government's claims the accommodation is complete. "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.

"Medical care for other serious conditions, which would require hospitalization, is also inadequate on Manus Island".

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"Given the Supreme Court's decision, the government has no choice but to intervene for the well-being of both the refugees and non-refugees".

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