20 Jan 2015

Plea for restraint in handling Manus protest

12:06 pm on 20 January 2015

The Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called for restraint in the handling of the ongoing protest by asylum seekers at the Manus processing centre in Papua New Guinea.

Hunger strikers at the Manus centre have been protesting for a week about the planned resettlement of 50 refugees in PNG.

Although the PNG government says only a few asylum seekers are protesting, the Refugee Action Coalition says hundreds of the detainees are involved and that security personnel are threatening violence to stop the protest.

It's almost a year since the brutal death of an Iranian asylum seeker during a hardline security response to riots at the centre, and Ms Hanson-Young fears more bloodshed if PNG police are brought in again.

"After months and months of inquiry into the death of Reza Berati last year, the clearest recommendation was that the Mobile Police Squad should not be used at the centre."

Sarah Hanson-Young

Asylum seekers in Manus Island camp

Asylum seekers in Manus Island camp Photo: supplied