Police raid Manus Island detention centre

Police raid Manus Island detention centre

About 380 asylum seekers have shut themselves inside the Manus Island Centre for more than three weeks, defying attempts by Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) to close it in a standoff the United Nations described as a "looming humanitarian crisis".

Authorities in Papua New Guinea have removed dozens of asylum seekers and ratcheted up pressure on more than 300 others to abandon a decommissioned immigration camp.

"The Australian taxpayers have paid about $10m for a new facility and we want people to move", he said.

"I think it's outrageous that people are still there". "We want people to move".

"Iranian journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani was arrested as police and immigration officials swept through the camp, destroying furniture, property and food", reports The Guardian.

"We are doing the best we can and the refugees cannot continue to be stubborn and defiant", Baki said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

PNG's Supreme Court ruled previous year that the center, first opened in 2001, breached its laws and fundamental human rights, leading to the decision to close it.

"The country where they sought refuge - Australia - has violated their rights at every turn".

After promising to never resettle asylum seekers who arrive by boat in Australia, the federal government approached 30 countries to create a third country arrangement.

Meanwhile, PNG Supreme Court is due to hear on December 15 an appeal against its ruling earlier this month that the camp's basic services were not to be restored, lawyer Ben Lomai told AFP Thursday.

He has previously asserted that asylum seekers are reluctant to move to the three alternative accomodation centres furbished by the Australian government, citing the fear of reprisals from the local community and lacking medical provisions to those who've already moved.

Refugees remaining in the center have been asked to move to two other locations - the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Center or West Lorengau House - both provided by the Australian government at a cost of up to $190 million (A$250 million dollars) a year.

"(Baki) is confident the operation will be carried out successfully and in an orderly manner".

The Australian Medical Association has called on Canberra to allow doctors to help the refugees, warning there was a "worsening and more unsafe situation emerging on Manus". So far, only 54 have been accepted by the US.

Despite widespread criticism, Canberra has defended its offshore processing policy as stopping deaths at sea after a spate of drownings.

Shen Narayanasamy, a human rights campaigner for the activist group GetUp!, said some of those bused from the camp reported being forced to leave.

The intervention comes after twelve former Australians of the Year penned an open letter asking Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to immediately allow doctors access to refugees in the facility.

Global rights group Amnesty International said Thursday there were "risks of serious injury if the authorities use force", and called for the refugees to be brought to Australia.

The Australian Medical Association on Sunday called on Canberra to allow doctors to help the refugees, warning there was a "worsening and more risky situation emerging on Manus".



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