Stale­mate as refugees refuse to leave PNG camp

The Star Malaysia - - World -

Sydney: Some 400 refugees re­buffed con­tin­ued ef­forts by Pa­pua New Guinea au­thor­i­ties to con­vince them to move from a shut­tered Aus­tralian de­ten­tion camp as the tense stand­off over their fu­ture drags into a third week.

The con­fronta­tion has drawn global at­ten­tion to Canberra’s tough im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy, un­der which asy­lum-seek­ers who try to reach Aus­tralia by boat are sent to re­mote Pa­cific camps on PNG’s Manus Is­land and the is­land na­tion of Nauru.

Most of the 600 refugees de­tained at the camp re­fused to leave when Aus­tralia of­fi­cially closed it on Oct 31 af­ter the PNG Supreme Court ruled the site un­con­sti­tu­tional, cit­ing fears for their safety out­side.

They are barred from re­set­tling in Aus­tralia and Canberra has strug­gled to trans­fer them to third coun­tries.

Kur­dish-Ira­nian de­tainee and jour­nal­ist Behrouz Boochani said yes­ter­day that the detainees were go­ing to dig an­other well, a day af­ter po­lice moved into the camp to punc­ture or re­move tanks hold­ing the refugees’ re­main­ing sup­plies of drink­ing wa­ter. Po­lice, who have so far com­plied with or­ders from higher au­thor­i­ties not to re­sort to force to re­move the men, used loud­speak­ers to ap­peal to the detainees to move on Mon­day.

Chief In­spec­tor David Yapu said that he needed “some clear direc­tives on our next course of ac­tion” to per­suade the men to leave.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.