Asy­lum seek­ers seek ‘safe’ re­lo­ca­tion

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

ASY­LUM seek­ers held on Manus Is­land have urged Pa­pua New Guinea to dis­tance it­self from Aus­tralia’s refugee pol­icy and help them re­lo­cate to “safe” coun­tries.

In a hand­writ­ten let­ter, ad­dressed to Prime Min­is­ter Peter O’Neill and other mem­bers of the gov­ern­ment, the de­tainees urge au­thor­i­ties to op­pose Aus­tralia’s plans to re­set­tle them in sur­round­ing PNG com­mu­ni­ties.

Refugees were re­port­edly at­tacked by lo­cals dur­ing ri­ots in 2014 and again in April this year when men tried to storm the fa­cil­ity.

The de­tainees are ex­pected to be ejected from the cen­tre when it shuts on Oc­to­ber 31, but say they fear fur­ther vi­o­lence.

“We have been held in your coun­try against our wishes and have been de­nied our lib­erty and have been tor­tured in your coun­try,” says the let­ter, which was cir­cu­lated to me­dia by the Refugee Ac­tion Coali­tion.

“Please do not go along with (Aus­tralia’s) mis­treat­ment.”

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