Australians protest against unfolding 'emergency' in offshore detention camp

06 November, 2017, 02:21 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after a visit to Borough Market in central London

"The Australian government is not honest".

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul told those present the Australian government was trying to drive the refugees and asylum seekers out of the centre and "into even more unsafe conditions". They include Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, Afghans, Iranians, Sri Lankans and other nationalities, and are nearly entirely men.

For four years, Australia has paid Papua New Guinea, its nearest neighbor, and Nauru to house asylum seekers who attempt to reach the Australian coast by boat. He says Australia must provide support for refugees to integrate, and certainly has a large enough diplomatic presence in Port Moresby to provide adequate assistance. "So that's a very long time to sit in effectively a detention centre disguised as a regional processing centre without your case being processed".

"We have an arrangement with the United States where a substantial number - 1250 - can, subject to the U.S. rigours vetting, be resettled in the United States", he said.

Food, electricity and running water were cut off at the detention centre after it officially closed on Tuesday.

"Australia's policy of deterrence by rescuing people at sea, mistreating them and abandoning them has become a notion of cruelty".

The Grand Chief said it is with sadness that he watched two countries play football with the lives of refugees on Manus Island.

"At the moment hundreds of naked men are lying around me", Boochani wrote.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reiterated her offer to take 150 asylum seekers during the meeting Sunday, an offer which has been on the table since 2013.

The government has been facing growing pressure to accept the offer in recent days, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten saying on Friday that Mr Turnbull should honour New Zealand's proposal and Liberal MP Kevin Andrews breaking ranks to join that call on Sunday.

New Zealand citizens are typically allowed to work and live in Australia, a pathway that Australia fears could be used by the refugees to move to Australia.

Urging the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea to fully respect their human rights, Colville said: "We repeat our overall concerns about Australia's offshore processing centers, which are unsustainable, inhumane and contrary to its human rights obligations".

"While [Australia] is not accepting refugees from Manus they have no right to reject New Zealand's offer".

She said she could hear the sounds of people dying for 45 minutes. The agreement had envisaged resettling up to 1,250 refugees from Manus and Nauru to America, but the vetting process has been slow.

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