25 Sep 2014

Gay asylum seekers on Manus fear persecution

8:33 am on 25 September 2014

Gay asylum seekers in the Australian-run Manus Island detention facility have expressed their fear of persecution if resettled in Papua New Guinea, where homosexuality is illegal.

The Guardian reports it has obtained letters from four gay asylum seekers on Manus, where they have detailed having suicidal thoughts, and their experiences of sexual assault and persecution at the centre.

The men write of their decision to flee societies where they were persecuted for their sexuality, and express fear about life in PNG if they are resettled there.

In Papua New Guinea, homosexuality can carry a jail term of more than a decade.

It is understood three gay asylum seekers on Manus have recently been placed on watch for self-harm and suicide in recent weeks.