UN call to trans­fer Manus refugees

Sunday Herald Sun - - NEWS -

AUS­TRALIA should trans­fer 600 asy­lum seek­ers stranded on Manus Is­land to the main­land, the United Na­tions Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion says.

The de­ten­tion cen­tre in Pa­pua New Guinea closed last Tues­day but hun­dreds of refugees have stayed at the closed cen­tre be­cause they fear they will be at­tacked by lo­cals.

UNHCR spokesman Ru­pert Colville told me­dia in Geneva the sit­u­a­tion is an “un­fold­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian emer­gency”, with food and wa­ter hav­ing run out.

“We re­peat our over­all con­cerns about Aus­tralian off­shore pro­cess­ing cen­tres which are un­sus­tain­able, in­hu­mane and con­tra­dic­tory to its hu­man rights obli­ga­tions,” he said.

Mr Colville urged Can­berra to trans­fer the men to the main­land for pro­cess­ing. But the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment in­sists those bar­ri­cad­ing them­selves in the old de­ten­tion cen­tre have ac­cess to food, drink­ing wa­ter and health ser­vices at the al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

“We ap­peal to PNG-de­ter­mined refugees and failed asy­lum seek­ers to move to these lo­ca­tions and to ac­cess the ser­vices and sup­ports that the PNG gov­ern­ment has pro­vided,” a spokesman said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.