Australia turns down NZ offer to take asylum seekers barricaded inside camp

Posted November 06, 2017

New Zealand's prime minister on Friday repeated her country's offer to take up to 150 refugees from an Australian immigration camp in Papua New Guinea, where more than 600 weakened men are continuing a standoff with authorities. More than 1,000 people protested in Australia yesterday against the treatment of hundreds of asylum seekers in an offshore detention centre that the United Nations has described as an "unfolding humanitarian emergency".

About 600 men have barricaded themselves inside the camp Manus island in Papua New Guinea, defying efforts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to shut it down. The facility has been left unguarded, without power and with limited toilet facilities.

"But also we have urged Australia and PNG to de-escalate the situation, resume basic services - water, electricity, medical services as well".

"[The] best thing is for Australia and PNG to agree to make re-agreement again for people to be shipped to Australia".

In the first official phone call between Mr Turnbull and the U.S. president, Donald Trump referred to this agreement as "a stupid deal" that would "make me look terrible", according to the full transcript released by the Washington Post.

"It's quite distressing to see the Greens ramping up the tempo on Manus Island because I don't want to see any incident there".

In April previous year, Papua New Guinea's highest court ruled detention for Australia's off-shore processing on Manus as "illegal" and "unconstitutional" and the PNG government ordered it be shut.

But Manus refugee Behrouz Boochani told NZ Newswire the USA agreement was a lie.

Peter Dutton says the refugees should move to alternative accomodation.

Greens senator Nick McKim left the island on Thursday after joining the refugees in their protest and highlighted their issues in numerous worldwide media interviews.

Senator McKim responded saying Mr Dutton "is a racist, a proven liar, a fascist, a serial human rights abuser and it's a badge of honour to be personally attacked by Petter Dutton". "It makes a very hard situation even worse", Mr Dutton said on Thursday.

"We've made an offer but it is not as significant as the agreement with the United States", Ms Ardern said.

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

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.

Nai said unease between the refugees and local communities had grown due to a lack of consultation when the transition centres were being constructed.

Extra police are on standby on the island but have not attempted to remove the men. "They are starving and their bodies are getting weak".

"We respect their human rights, even though they are foreigners, they are still subject to one rule of law". "Doesn't change that what Australia has done to these men on Manus is appalling".