• 11 DEC 17
    • 0
    Behrouz Boochani on Manus security failure

    Behrouz Boochani on Manus security failure

    “Last night at around 3am some drunk men wanted to come into West Haus prison camp. Finally one of them who was holding a machete came close and threatened the refugees, saying “you are dead meat,” “we will kill you.”

    This incident happened after two different incidents yesterday. At 5pm some drunk men wanted to come into West Haus but security prevented them.

    At about 7pm another man came inside Hillside and sat in the mess. He was claiming that he is the landowner and nobody could stop him from coming in. He seemed drunk but did not threaten violence. Eventually police came and took him out.

    This isn’t the first time that local people have shown their anger about bringing the refugees to the new prison camp.

    Last week on 7 December an angry local man came to Hillside, yelling at security and refugees “you must leave.” In another incident on 6 December at about 5pm a man stopped a Bangladeshi refugee on the road to Hillside, held a knife to his body and searched him.

    The refugee said police appeared and helped him, and the man ran away. For a long time we detainees in Manus have warned the government that if you relocate us to new prison camps close to town and close to villages it will create more conflict between locals and the refugees.

    But the government did not care. Now we can see how the situation is unsustainable and creating great risk of danger. The new prison camps are very close to a village. Leaving 600 refugees beside local villages creates conflict. No one should blame the local people for this situation.

    The government doesn’t respect them and dropped 600 foreign men in their small community.

    It’s a problem created by the Australian and PNG governments and they benefit from making the place unsafe for refugees, to put pressure on them to return to their home countries. It’s not safe there and it’s not safe here.

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