Fourth Group Of Asylum Seekers Reaches Manus Island

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34 from Iran, Afghanistan, India and Sri Lanka arrived Saturday

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 17, 2012) – Manus Island received its fourth batch of 34 asylum seekers from Australia, bringing the total number at the makeshift detention centre to 101.

Papua New Guinea Immigration officials told the Post-Courier yesterday that 34 people comprising families from Iran, Afghanistan, India and Sri Lanka arrived at Manus Island early on Saturday.

They said this was the fourth group of asylum seekers which included children. They were accompanied by Australian Federal Police, Immigration officials, interpreters and children’s services and medical personnel.

The officials also advised that more may be expected in the coming days. According to the agreement signed between PNG and Australia, about 600 asylum seekers will be transferred to Manus.

The first group which was transferred in late November was made up of 19 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka and Iran who were flown direct from Christmas Island to the Manus centre. It was made up of seven family groups that included women and four children.

The second group included eight families comprising 16 adults and 12 children from Sri Lanka and Iran. They were also accompanied by Federal Police, Immigration officials, interpreters and children’s services and medical personnel.

The third group of 20 were flown direct from Australia and received by the officials in Manus which included PNG Immigration officials, PNG Police and Australian officials.

The recent weekend’s group that arrived on Saturday was accompanied by Australian Federal Police, Immigration officials, interpreters and children’s services and medical personnel.

The immigration officials told the Post-Courier that there should be one or two more flights of asylum seekers to the island before Christmas and the rest will be transferred in the New Year.

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