Police forcibly deport Manus Island asylum seekers

4:30 pm on 9 February 2017

Police in Papua New Guinea have been removing Nepalese asylum seekers from Australia's detention centre on Manus Island.

The Manus Island detention centre.

The Manus Island detention centre. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

Last week, the PNG government said it would deport 60 men from the centre whose applications for asylum had been rejected.

The Kurdish journalist and detainee Behrouz Boochani said 10 police officers raided the detention centre at 4am today targeting two Nepalese men.

He said one man was taken while the other escaped.

Mr Boochani said, last week, pressure was applied to five men to make them agree to being deported.

He said PNG Immigration officials are offering rejected asylum seekers $20,000 to sign papers authorising their deportation.

Mr Boochani said detainees who refused to sign have been told they'll be forcibly deported.

The men's lawyer, Ben Lomai, said there were major problems with the assessment process, and the government should not be deporting people until they were resolved.

"It's a concern that some of them, not all of them, but some of them or even a few of them may not have been assessed properly," he said.

The asylum seekers, lawyers and human rights advocates have raised concerns about the refugee determination process on Manus Island, which was not overseen by the United Nations.

About 30 asylum seekers refused to give their claims to PNG authorities for processing.

Most were given an arbitrary "negative" status, including the vulnerable witness to the murder of Reza Barati, Benham Satah.

"Some of these people are genuine people. They've marks of physical injuries on their body to these assessors, but they failed to cross check [that] information and then give them a favourable response," Mr Lomai said.


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