Manus detainees think US resettlement a hoax

6:46 am on 25 January 2017

Refugees detained on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island are sceptical of news they'll meet immigration officials from the United States next month.

Many of the 900 men detained there don't even believe their Australian custodians have struck a deal with the US to re-settle them.

Speaking from Manus Island, the Sudanese refugee, Omar Jack Giram, said the deal sounded like fake news.

"You know, it's almost four years we have been told many, many fake news and fake informations about our future.

"So nothing clear yet and I think it's same old game, they just trying to waste our time, so I hope this is a real deal between two countries."

Omar Jack Giram and the refugees detained on Manus Island said they had been told US immigration officials would arrive on 14 February.

Protest by refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island.

A protest by refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island held in early 2016 Photo: Supplied

Another refugee, Amir, said US resettlement is a pipe dream.

But he said violent altercations between refugees and locals had convinced him that staying on Manus Island was not an option.

"Absolutely not because PNG is not a country that I sought asylum and Papua New Guinea is absolutely not safe for me and many other refugees.

"It's been already four years that I've spent being in the centre, the detention centre, the prison camp.

"The whole island is like a prison for us. So we are getting hopeless and helpless and we have this feeling that we are not going to get off this island."

The refugee, Ben Moghimi, said he was happy to meet US officials at the prison camp in Lombrum naval base, but he thought the deal was a trick.

"We know that we cannot live in this country and they know that but they are trying to trick us as much as they can because they don't care about us.

"They killed Reza Barati, Hamid Kehazaei, Faysal Ishak and they are trying to kill us," said Mr Moghimi.

"If the US officials want they can come and interview me in Lombrum. I would love to go to US. It's a good opportunity that they put in front of me. If they want to interview me they can come interview me in Lombrum."

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