Papua New Guinea police flood closed Australia refugee camp on Manus Island

Papua New Guinea police flood closed Australia refugee camp on Manus Island

Papua New Guinea police flood closed Australia refugee camp on Manus Island

Police Commissioner Gari Baki said 50 police and immigration officials entered the Manus Island camp on Thursday morning and "peacefully relocated" 50 asylum seekers among the 378 men to alternative accommodation in the nearby town of Lorengau.

Ms Schuetze said refugees were entitled to worldwide protection but PNG had aided and enabled Australia's policy of "cruelty and degradation" towards detainees.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday reaffirmed his government's stance that none of the refugees, who were sent to the camp for trying to reach Australia by boat, would be brought to his country.

Papua New Guinea's Post-Courier newspaper reported on Tuesday that immigration officials would begin evicting the men on Wednesday, the fourth such deadline imposed on the refugees to leave since the camp's closure on October 31.

"Malcolm Turnbull is not a cruel man, he is not inhumane, but what we are witnessing here is both cruel and inhumane", Mr Costello said.

The detainees said they were fearful of hostility from locals outside the camp, and said the new centres were not fully operational, with a lack of security, sufficient water or electricity.

GetUp spokeswoman Zoe Edwards told AFP refugees inside the camp said "men are being forcibly removed by bus, apparently to other centres".

"They had a really big microphone in their hands and started telling people 'you have to move, '" refugee Abdul Aziz Adam told the BBC.

"They are destroying our rooms and throwing away our belongings", tweeted one man. His arrest was described by Australia's journalism union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, as an "egregious attack on press freedom".

The journalist, a prominent voice within the centre, later tweeted that he had been "handcuffed" for more than two hours and had his belongings broken.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed a PNG police operation is underway to remove those remaining in the mothballed facility
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed a PNG police operation is underway to remove those remaining in the mothballed facility

Around 400 of the asylum-seekers have refused to leave, saying they fear for their safety in a local population which opposes their presence on the island. They attack the refugees and rob them.

"The early morning action follows repeated deadlines issued - but not enforced - by the PNG government over the three weeks since the centre was shut down", The Sydney Morning Herald reports. "Australia must take responsibility for the protection, assistance and solutions for the refugees here on Manus Island".

But Mr Baki said Mr Boochan had not been arrested or charged.

Iranian refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani said PNG authorities were being "guided" by an Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer, a claim the AFP rejected.

Australia has repeatedly said that alternative accommodation for the asylum seekers is ready.

The 12 former Australians of the Year called on Australia to restore basic services to the camp on Manus Island and allow doctors to provide care there as reports emerged of an operation on Thursday to evict the remaining asylum seekers.

Professor Patrick McGorry said "a ideal storm" has been building in the centre with unmedicated patients suffering a range of mental and physical health issues.

The UN has said a majority of the men have refugee status.

Refugees had been given the option of permanent resettlement in PNG, applying to live in Cambodia, or requesting a transfer to Nauru.

The remaining men are scared for their lives and have few options.

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