PNG govt hints Manus deadline won't be enforced

12:58 pm on 13 November 2017

The Papua New Guinea government is hinting that the deadline for refugees to leave the shuttered Manus Island detention centre will not be enforced.

101st daily protest 101, 9-11-17.

Refugees at the detention centre Photo: supplied

The centre was officially closed at the end of last month and essential services cut, but about 600 refugees refuse to go to nearby alternative accommodation, fearing for their safety.

Today was supposed to be the the last day for the about 400 refugees to leave or face forced eviction.

But immigration minister Petrus Thomas said it was up to the refugees to leave themselves, suggesting they would not be forced to leave today.

"As I maintain, there will be no forced movement, but they have to voluntarily move. There are already 120 that have moved already [and] there are other positive indications from other refugees that they will be moving as well."

A refugee during the 98th day of protest, 6-11-17.

Photo: supplied

Mr Thomas said essential supplies were available at the Lorengau centre and they would be safe.

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