A document placed in the Oscar Compound of Manus Island Regional Processing Centre tonight shows that over 700 men who have been assessed as refugees remaining on Manus Island are being offered a transfer to Nauru, due to risk of violence in PNG’s Lorengau.
Three people have died on Nauru since being transferred there with the commencement of Australia’s offshore processing regime.
The Turnbull government had planned to transfer the men after it ‘closed’ Manus Island detention facilities to Lorengau Transit Centre, where locals have previously attacked refugees and people seeking asylum with machetes.
The planned transfer caused the men great fear for their safety and they had been repeatedly telling Australian authorities that they would not and could not go.
Amir Taghinia, who is one of the refugees affected, said ‘we are extremely afraid for our lives and have told the Australian government we will be attacked if we go to Lorengau.’
‘We explained over and over again that we would rather stay in the Manus prison without hope than face violence in Lorengau.’
‘The Australian government is running out of time and have no plan, so they have come up with this relocation.’
‘Already too many lives have been lost, and the government knows that people are in danger in these camps, whether on Manus Island or Nauru.’ Amir said
Detention Advocacy Manager Natasha Blucher said: ‘The Turnbull Government needs to finally realise that they cannot have more violence and deaths in their detention regime.’
‘Dragging these men from one dangerous camp to another is not a solution.’
‘There is no space to accommodate these men on Nauru except in mouldy tents in the camp, and I speak to people there daily who have life threatening medical conditions who are not receiving treatment.’
‘Transferring people from Manus Island to Nauru simply won’t work.’
‘The government needs to listen to what has been said by lawyers, the United Nations, and international organisations for years.’
‘They are scrambling because their policy has failed. They must bring every single person on Manus and Nauru to Australia immediately.’
‘People who have been found to be refugees should safely await their protection and resettlement outcomes in Australia’. Natasha said.
The situation is urgent. The ASRC calls for the immediate transfer of all refugees and people seeking asylum on Manus and Nauru to Australia.
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