MEDIA RELEASE 30/10 |GOVERNMENT MUST ACT TO STOP THE MANUS CLOSURE; NO FORCED RELOCATIONS: BRING THEM HERE

Refugee Action Coalition

MEDIA RELEASE

GOVERNMENT MUST ACT TO STOP THE MANUS CLOSURE;

NO FORCED RELOCATIONS: BRING THEM HERE

Hundreds of Manusians have signed a petition opposing the forced relocation of the men in the Manus detention cenre and calling for the Australian government to take all the asylum seekers and refugees back to Australia. (A photo of the local meeting, 27 October,  in Lorengau’s ward 5 is attached) .

The petition will be presented tomorrow Tuesday, 31 October) , at the end of a march to Manus Provisional Government Office in Lorengau.

WATER TANKS DRAINED

Meanwhile the Australian government has stepped up the pressure on the refugees in the detention centre, as they orderd that water be draioned from three water tanks at the Foxtrot compound. (Photo of cut pipes attached).

Food is now only being provided in food packs for today and tomorrow (30, 31 October), and a notice in the detention centre saus that all service personell will be withdrawn from the detention on the 31 October.
As tensions over the closure rises, some local Manusians have pledged to provide food and water to the detention centre after the closure date. At one meeting, locals declared that they would block the road to prevent buses taking asylum seekers to the new Hillside Haus location.
MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS
The rising fear inside the detention centre is taking its toll on the detainees. While some locals have ofered support other, have come tio the detention fences threatening the refugees inside. With some fences removed and other sections damaged i a recent storm, there are fear that locals could access the centre as they did in February 2014, when Reza Barati was killed.
The fear has also exacerbated the mental health crisis on the island, and the concern that there wil be no mental health care available on the island after the withdrawal of medical services from the detention centre.
Another detainee suffered a complete mental breakdown and was taken into secure care by IHMS on Sunday 28 October. But the government says IHMS is being withdrawn, along with all other services on 31 October.
There is no provision for ensuring on-going medications for the over 600 people, let alone care for acute cases.
LEGAL ACTION
Documents are being filed in the PNG Supreme Court today, Monday 30 October, in an attempt to get an injunction to stop the closure of the detention centre and any forced relocation, along with orders for the full restoration of accomodation, food, water, medical, sanitation and other services to the people being held by the Australian government, to ensure the basics of life as well as the protection of their human rights.
“It is clear from statements made by the PNG Immigration Minister that the humanitarian disater on Manus is being driven by the Australian government. It is Australia who has effective control of the detention centre.
“Detention on Manus has been a humanitarian disaster for the last four years. But there are surely few precedents for the government to have such deliberate, callous and calculated disregard for the safety of people supposedly in their care.
“The government must act immediately stop the closure centre and the forced relocation of asylum seekers and refugees on Manus. The government must act to bring them here.”
PROTEST
The Refugee Action Coalition is holding a protest, “Don’t Force Manus Refugees to Danger, Bring Them Here,”  at Sydney Commonwealth government offices, Tuesday, 31 October, 12.30pm, cnr Bent and Bligh Sts, Sydney.
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713
IMG_20171030_081116 IMG_20171030_081156 Manus ward 5 meeting

MEDIA RELEASE 26/10 |END THE MANUS SIEGE; RESTORE FOOD AND SERVICES

Refugee Action Coalition
MEDIA RELEASE
END THE MANUS SIEGE; RESTORE FOOD AND SERVICES
Refugee groups have called for the Australian government to end the siege of the Manus detention centre.
After ignoring a PNG Supreme Court ruling since April 2016, the government is resorting to depriving refugees and asylum seekers of food, water and medical care as they try to force people out of the detention centre.
The latest notice (attached) says that mess facilities will cease on Sunday and that food packs will be issued on Sunday – enough for two days.
Previous notices have indicated that all personnel will be withdrawn and water and power will be cut off on 31 October and that the navy will occupy the centre on 1 November.
Today (Thursday) is the last day that buses will run from the detention centre to the Lorengau settlement area.
“Even though services are being cut off, there is now no way for refugees to leave the detention centre,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson  for the Refugee Action Coalition.
NOT MOVING
Despite the looming deadline, none of the detainees are going to move to Lorengau. Today, Thursday 26 October)  is day 87 of protests inside the detention centre. (Photo attached).
The announcement came as a 39 year-old Afghan refugee was urgently medivacced, in a serious condition, from Manus Island to Port Moresby Wednesday night, suffering from sepsis  as infection spread from an injured foot the same kind of infection that killed Hamed Khazaie a year ago.
The latest moves come as further legal action is being prepared in the PNG Supreme Court seeking an injunction against the closure of the detention centre and orders to fully restore services until arrangements are made for the refugees to travel to safe third countries.
“The whole world is watching Manus Island  as the government resorts to medieval brutality to force refugees into even more unsafe unsafe circumstances on Manus Island. The government needs to act urgently to end the siege of Manus. The government has sunk to a new low trying to starve defenceless people into submission.
“The government is deliberately orchestrating a humanitarian disaster and callously disregarding its obligations to keep these people safe,” said Rintoul.
The Refugee Action Coalition is holding a protest at Sydney Commonwealth government offices, Tuesday, 31 October, 12.30pm, cnr Bent and Bligh Sts, Sydney.
 (Melbourne protest is Friday, 27 October, 4.30pm, offices of Border Force, Lonsdale Street)
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713
Manus notice here
IMG_20171026_173606

MEDIA RELEASE | URGENT NEED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS OBSERVERS TO GO TO MANUS NAVY TAKE-OVER OF MANUS WILL PUT LIVES AT RISK

Refugee Action Coalition

MEDIA RELEASE

URGENT NEED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS OBSERVERS TO GO TO MANUS

NAVY TAKE-OVER OF MANUS WILL PUT LIVES AT RISK

Refugees and asylum seekers in the Manus detention centre have been given individual notices that declares that the centre will be taken over by the PNG navy after 31 October.

The notice (attached) says that after 31 October, every worker will leave the detention centre; that electricity, water, food, drinking water will be cut off; and the fences removed.

“The Australian government is creating an impossible situation on Manus and putting refugees’ lives at risk. The letters are a direct threat against the refugees,” says Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“They are leaving refugees defenceless against the navy – the people who shot into the detention centre last Easter; while trying to force them into a dangerously insecure situation near Lorengau, some of which is not even open yet.”

“We are calling for the Australian and PNG governments to cease their reckless moves to close the Manus detention centre. No provision has been made for their safety, their security, health care or their future.

“The idea that a clinic at East Lorengau can deal with the complex physical and mental issues among the refugees is worse than ridiculous. The government knows that this won’t work.

“We are urgently requesting human rights’ observers be sent to Manus immediately to oversee the situation on Manus and ensure that the Manus refugees lives are not put in danger.

“Even before the latest letter and the threat of navy action against refugees, the UNHCR had called for Australia to ‘address the imminent humanitarian crisis for refugees and asylum-seekers in Papua New Guinea’. Doctors for Refugees has stated that healthcare on Manus was ‘inadequate’ and unethical action by IHMS was creating a potentially ‘catastrophic outcome’.

“Australia has a responsibility to the people they illegally sent to PNG. They are shelling out $70 million in compensation for the abuse and negligence on Manus at the same time as they are leaving them defenceless.”

“PNG needs to stand up to Australia. Like Nauru, PNG has become a jailer for the Australian government. Urgent action is needed to bring all thew asylum seekers and refugees to Australia.”

A report from Behrouz Boochani, on Manus is pasted below.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

The Australian Border Force is threatening the refugees in Manus. Last night they put up a notice saying that Manus prison camp will close soon and they will cut water, power, food and services after 31 October. The main part of the notice is that they threaten that PNG defence forces will take over the site after that date and the fences of the detention centre will be removed. The refugees have already had a very bad experience with PNG navy soldiers, on Good Friday this year when they attacked the detention centre and fired guns into the centre around 100 times. At that time they tried to ram the fences to attack the refugees and it is only the fences that protected the refugees from that outcome. It is unacceptable to put the refugees in this situation – either move to Lorengau where they risk attack by angry local people, or be taken over by PNG defence forces who have already seriously threatened their safety. The refugees are very worried about the future and are extremely scared by this situation. They don’t feel safe because at any time the Navy may attack the detention centre again. On the other side the local people had several meetings in the past few weeks and are very angry with Australia and PNG governments because they don’t want the refugees in their community and the governments have not respected them.

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