Protests in Manus, Nauru as Aus­tralia ‘Stalls’ on Pol­icy

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Asy­lum-seek­ers and refugees at the Manus Is­land cen­tre in Pa­pua New Guinea are stag­ing the big­gest protests there since a mass hunger strike in Jan­uary 2015.

As protests at the other Aus­tralian-run de­ten­tion cen­tre on Nauru en­ter day 56, those in the Manus Is­land cen­tre have been hold­ing signs and chant­ing “Free­dom, Free­dom” and “This place is il­le­gal.” The cen­tre in PNG was ruled un­con­sti­tu­tional by the coun­try’s Supreme Court, prompt­ing Prime Min­is­ter, Peter O’Neill, to vow to close it. How­ever the Aus­tralian author­i­ties said this might take some time and re­peated that the refugees and asy­lum-seek­ers would never go to Aus­tralia. One asy­lum-seeker, Behrouz Boochani, said they were de­ter­mined to have their hu­man rights respected and Aus­tralia had ex­iled them by force to what they de­scribe as a hell. Ian Rin­toul, the spokesper­son for the Refugee Ac­tion Coali­tion, said the Turn­bull gov­ern­ment was stalling and try­ing to drag things out un­til af­ter the elec­tion, but the off­shore pro­cess­ing regime was col­laps­ing.

Photo: Refugee Ac­tion Coali­tion

Protest on Nauru.

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