Published: Fri, November 24, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

PNG Police arrest Iranian Kurdish journalist and asylum seeker Behrouz Boochani

PNG Police arrest Iranian Kurdish journalist and asylum seeker Behrouz Boochani

Papua New Guinea authorities ratcheted up pressure on more than 300 asylum seekers to abandon a decommissioned immigration camp on Thursday.

The men were reportedly given an hour to leave the center, which officially closed on October 31.

"People on Manus should go to the alternative places of safety with all the facilities they need, they should do so peacefully and they should do so in accordance with the legal directions of Papua New Guinea", he added.

Water, power and food supplies ended when the Manus camp officially closed on October 31, based on the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court's ruling a year ago that Australia's policy of housing asylum seekers there was unconstitutional.

"Police have started to break the shelters, water tanks and are saying "move, move", tweeted Iranian Behrouz Boochani from inside the camp on Thursday morning.

The Manus island camp in PNG, and another on the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru, have been the cornerstones of Australia's controversial immigration policy, which has been strongly criticised by the United Nations and rights groups. Some of the detainees climbed onto the roof of one of the buildings.

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Calls to PNG immigration and police were not returned.

But Mr Baki said Mr Boochan had not been arrested or charged.

Debris and food are seen at the Manus Island detention centre after a police operation on Manus Island.

A further hearing over the class action settlement with the Australian government and centre operators will be held in the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday.

After promising to never resettle asylum seekers who arrive by boat in Australia, the federal government approached 30 countries to create a third country arrangement.

"No force was used to remove the refugees but it was hard to convince them out of the condemned centre", said PPC Yapu. He stopped tweeting at about 11.30am, shortly before footage purporting to show him being led away from police was tweeted out by fellow asylum seekers. Only three - the US, New Zealand and Cambodia - have offered resettlement.

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Australia made a deal with the Obama administration for the U.S. to accept genuine refugees from Manus Island and Nauru. "Remember you will never settle us by force in PNG".

Ezatullah Kakar posted photos from the site, and wrote: "Everyone is crying in this moment".

'We are on high alert right now.

The 12 former Australians of the Year called on Australia to restore basic services to the camp on Manus Island and allow doctors to provide care there as reports emerged of an operation on Thursday to evict the remaining asylum seekers.

The letter's signatories include Australians of the Year Rosie Batty, Ita Buttrose, Simone McKeon, Patrick McGorry, Mick Dodson, Tim Flannery, Fiona Wood, Fiona Stanley, Gustav Nossal, Peter Doherty, John Yu and Robert de Castella.

Three other refugees are at risk of arrest on the same grounds.

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Mr Dutton again reiterated the men will never be coming to Australia. "This is a crisis perpetuated by the Australian government".

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