Pyne refuses to budge on Manus refugees

Pyne refuses to budge on Manus refugees

Pyne refuses to budge on Manus refugees

The camp inside a Manus Island navy base was declared closed on Oct 31 based on the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court's ruling past year that Australia's policy of housing asylum seekers there was unconstitutional.

Water, electricity and food supplies were cut to the centre more than a week ago and the Papua New Guinea government has on Thursday told the men to prepare to leave immediately.

Nearly 600 men have been holed up inside the detention facility, more than a week after it was shut down.

'If necessary, force may be used to relocate those who refuse to move voluntarily for your own sake'. The camp was closed on Oct 31 and water and power have been cut off.

Minister Thomas also clarified the issue of which government is responsible for ongoing care and support for those that remain in PNG and durable solutions for the refugees and return non-refugees.

Australia, it said, should "end its offshore transfer arrangements and cease any further transfers of refugees or asylum-seekers to Nauru, Papua New Guinea or an other regional processing country", they said in a report. He warned that "appropriate means" would be used to "apprehend individuals who are causing unnecessary anxiety and violence".

"The refugees are watching them fearfully.(they) are extremely scared by immigration threat but still saying we will not leave this prison camp for another prison camp", he said.

Australia insists its tough immigration policy against boat people dissuades would-be migrants from attempting the unsafe crossing to Australia and has therefore prevented hundreds of deaths at sea.

However, it has been widely criticised by the United Nations and human rights advocates.

There are still 580 men living at the detention centre who are protesting against the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments who want to move them to facilities near the township of Lorengau.

Amnesty International warned that "any use of force in this highly charged environment is likely to lead to serious injury or loss of life", calling for aid to be allowed into the camp.

People bringing food and water to the asylum seekers have been turned away from PNG authorities.

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