Refugee Action Coalition
> A third Iranian asylum seeker has been taken from his compound on
> Manus Island and is threatened with forced removal to Iran as early as
> this (Thursday, 27 August ) morning.
> Two other Iranian asylum seekers were removed in the week of the 13
> August. All the removals have been carried out in defiance of legal
> action in PNG’s Supreme Court.
> The 34 year-old man threatened with removal today, is one of the
> applicants named in a Supreme Court interim injunction issued on 25
> August that prevents the removal of 26 specific individuals, until the
> court reconvenes today, 27 August.
> “The attempt to remove the Iranian may well put the PNG immigration
> authorities in contempt of court. It is clearly an attempt to pre-empt
> the constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court,” said Ian Rintoul,
> spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “PNG and Australian
> immigration authorities are stepping up effort to intimidate people
> into signing to return to their home countries.”
> The going rate for Iranians agreeing to return to their country is
> $10,000 but offers of $15,000 are routine.
> The Supreme Court will consider the injunction and the PNG
> government’s action at a hearing this morning in Port Moresby. PNG
> immigration officials have already been referred to police for their
> action in ‘perverting the course of justice’ by removing on 13 August,
> the first of the Iranians, who was an applicant in the Supreme Court
> constitutional challenge.
> The attempted removal comes at the same time as the visit of senior
> Transfield and Border Protection officers to the Manus detention
> centre. A team of five – two Transfield management and three Border
> Force officials – have met with community and compound leaders
> yesterday.
> Complaints about staff behaviour, food, accommodation and
> communications have already been put to the officials by the
> detainees. “We are treated like criminals, not asylum seekers,” one
> Manus asylum seeker told the Refugee Action Coalition, “We have
> complained so often that the food is out of its use-by date and food
> often has flies and insects in it.”
> The high-level Border Force visit also comes following a bizarre
> display of traditional Manus dancers taken into the detention
> compounds on 25 August. On that afternoon, without any announcement,
> traditional armed dancers performed inside each compound.
> “We believe they were warning us,” said one of the asylum seekers,
> “They want to pressure us to go back.”
> International Organisation for Migration officers who have the contract
> for arranging ‘voluntary’ removals came into the compounds following
> the dancers – but found no-one willing to sign to back.
> Video of the dancers in the compound is available on request.
> For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713