19 Jan 2015

Claims Manus Island detainees deprived of water

12:46 pm on 19 January 2015

Refugee advocates say asylum seekers on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island are being deprived of water.

This comes following a weekend of protests and hunger striking at the centre whose asylum seekers fear being resettled in insecure housing at Lorengau.

About seven hundred asylum seekers have been refusing food and there are reports that 14 have stitched their mouths shut.

The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul says for two days asylum seekers in the Delta compound have been forced to reach under a compound fence for bottled water.

He says on Sunday afternoon a forklift moved in to remove the pallets holding the bottles.

He says Delta Compound has been without running water since Friday and asylum seekers have been trying to catch rainwater to wash.

Mr Rintoul says the service provider Transfield has also upped intimidation in Foxtrot compound which has been occupied by around 40 members of the Emergency Response Team since early Sunday evening.

The Coalition said security guards, including Papua New Guinea locals, attacked peaceful protests at the Australian-run detention centre on Friday.

The Papua New Guinean government has denied reports of a violent confrontation.