Refugees refuse to leave PNG facility
SYDNEY — Hundreds of fearful refugees were urged to leave an Australian detention camp in Papua New Guinea on Wednesday as conditions worsened, with power and water cut off in a tense impasse.
Canberra agreed to close its Manus Island facility by the end of October after the PNG Supreme Court ruled that holding people there was unconstitutional.
It was due to be handed over to local authorities on Tuesday, with some 600 men inside told to move to transition centers in the nearby town of Lorengau.
But many have locked themselves in, fearing they will not be safe outside where some in the local community do not want them.
Last week, there were reports that asylum-seekers faced “unchecked violence” and that they “have been getting stabbed, beaten, and robbed” ahead of the Oct 31 deadline.