Curfew for Manus refugees raises concerns

8:39 am on 5 June 2015

A refugee watchdog says a curfew for refugees on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island is a stark indicator that refugees cannot be safely cared for there.

Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul says an Iranian refugee has been bashed by PNG immigration officers for drinking in a pub during the 6 PM to 6 AM curfew.

Iranian asylum seeker on Manus

Iranian asylum seeker on Manus Photo: SUPPLIED / Refugee Action Coalition

He says tensions have also been rising on Manus Island, as pre-trial hearings for two PNG nationals charged with the death of asylum seeker Reza Berati has begun.

Mr Rintoul says witnesses are being threatened by immigration officials and PNG locals.

He says it's telling that PNG authorities believe a curfew is necessary to keep refugees safe on Manus.

"These people are vulnerable to the attacks from the locals, for the reasons I've gone over, but it's also clear that they're not safe from the assaults from the PNG authorities themselves. I think overriding that is the fact that the O'Neill government, in spit of you know it being two years, has not put a resettlement arrangement in place."

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