27 Nov 2017

Manus refugees deprived of beds and medical care

12:43 pm on 27 November 2017

A Manus Island refugee says there is not enough space in new facilities for the men forcibly removed from the decommissioned detention centre.

Refugees protest in the unfinished West Lorengau Transit Centre, 27-11-17.

Refugees protest in the unfinished West Lorengau Transit Centre, 27-11-17. Photo: supplied

About 400 refugees were forced to give up their three week protest last week by Papua New Guinea police, who moved the men to three facilities in the island's main town.

Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Adam is one of about 25 men unable to find a bed in the new facilities that pictures show are still under construction, despite Australian government claims to the contrary.

"For myself its been 48 hours I couldn't find a place to sleep," Mr Adam said on Sunday.

"There are about 25 men still living in a classroom. We spoke to the authority but they say the prison camp is not ready and they're doing their best to make it ready maybe in the next couple of weeks," he said.

Mr Adam said more than 350 men had been crammed into the East Lorengau Transit Centre, which he said only had room for 290.

"The rooms are only two metres but they put at least four people in each room."

Meanwhile, the aid agency Doctors without Borders has been prevented from entering the facilities.

The PNG police commissioner Gari Baki denied police were violent, but Kurdish journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani said many refugees needed medical treatment after being beaten.

"People are deeply traumatised. In Manus, there is not psychological facilities and really the people that were beaten they need medical treatment," he said.

A protest in Canberra

A protest in Canberra Photo: Getup!

Thousands took to the streets in Australia's capital cities on Sunday to protest against the refugees' treatment.

In Auckland, New Zealand human rights lawyer and Green MP Golriz Ghahraman told a crowd of about 40 people that Australia was detaining refugees in prison camps on Manus and Nauru to deter others from seeking asylum.

"So these camps are designed to be worse than torture, worse than persecution, worse than war," said Ms Ghahraman.

"That's not legal. What is legal is seeking asylum," she said.

"Australia is committing crimes against humanity in our neighbourhood and we have been silent, and we're not going to be silent anymore."

  • All Manus Island refugees evicted from detention centre
  • PNG police say Manus action peaceful - refugees disagree
  • Beatings, arrests as police trash Manus centre in raid
  • UN urges Australia to solve Manus Island crisis
  • Work to do on refugee offer - Winston Peters