21 Mar 2014

PNG court hears of crowded conditions and lack of food at Manus centre

6:26 am on 21 March 2014

Two asylum seekers detained on Manus Island told a Papua New Guinea court on Thursday of crowded conditions and a lack of food and medical attention.

The inquiry into whether asylum seekers' basic human rights are being tended to under Australia's controversial border protection scheme is hearing from detainees in the Manus capital, Lorengau.

Jamie Tahana reports.

"Justice David Cannings heard testimony from 26-year-old asylum seeker, Toorbir Noor from Myanmar, and 38-year-old Ali Assan Tualandari from Afghanistan, who told the court they have been on Manus for over 7 months. The pair said they shared a compound with 430 people and slept in bunk beds with no air conditioning or privacy. They said the food is insufficient and there are no sport or recreational activities at the camp. They said if they want medical attention, they have to submit a request to authorities, and often only get some painkillers. They said they were issued with a t-shirt, a pair of trousers and a night suit that they've been using for past 3 months."