Increasing pressure on authorities over Manus Island humanitarian crisis

Posted November 14, 2017

These refugees and asylum seekers have the right to be evacuated and resettled somewhere where seeking asylum is acknowledged and they will be welcomed into the community.

Ms Ardern has stressed the "great need" of the 600 refugee and asylum seekers now barricaded inside the closed Manus Regional Processing Centre during a press conference yesterday.

Four hundred and twenty-one refugees and asylum seekers holed up in the Manus Island detention centre have been told by Papua New Guinea's government they must leave on Monday or face forcible eviction, as another legal challenge goes to court, and global pressure continues to mount on Australia to intervene.

Manus Island refugees said they were advised on Saturday by officials their eviction deadline would be extended another 24-hours, by which point they would be forcibly removed from the processing camp which had been without food, water or medical supplies for almost two weeks.

"The Australian government, as a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, is responsible for these refugees, regardless of how they entered Australian territory to seek asylum". The accommodation they have been told to move to remains unfinished and uninhabitable, independent observers say.

"Philip Ruddock was one of the architects of Australia's brutal and inhuman offshore detention regime".

More than 100 of the refugees have left for three "transition" centers on Manus since it was officially closed.

In April 2016, the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court ruled the detention centre was unconstitutional and illegal, leading the country and Australia to prepare for its closure.

Australia has used the Manus island center, and another on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru, to detain asylum seekers who try to reach its shores by boat.

Asylum seekers protest on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, in this picture taken from social media November 6, 2017.

"I see the human face of this, I see the need and the role New Zealand needs to play. No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done", she said. Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist from Iran who has been detained on Manus island for more than four years, said on Twitter that workers had begun that task. "I think it's clear that we don't think what's happening there is acceptable, that's why the offer is there".