Manus Island Detainees Warned; Water, Power Will Be Shut Off To Force Them To Leave

Approximately 800 men still reside in asylum seeker detention center

By Papua New Guinea correspondent Eric Tlozek

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 10, 2017) – Authorities on Manus Island are telling asylum seekers they will shut off power and water to certain accommodation compounds to force people to leave the detention centre and move to transit accommodation in the island's town.

The roughly 800 men still inside the centre do not want to leave, saying they believe Australia will stop providing services for them and that local people on Manus Island will attack them.

One of the men from the centre, Naeem Udin, said they had been told they must move to the East Lorengau Transit Centre.

"Our friends are very worried about that. We already changed a lot of compounds and everyday [they] cut off electricity, it's very hard for us to stay without electricity," he said.

"We can't move [there] because of a lot of other situations.

"Recently one of [the] asylum seekers… their hand [was] chopped by the locals… we are not safe there.

"That's why we can't move transit centres."

Mr Udin said a points system, initially established to reward people for attending classes and participating in physical exercise, might be stopped as a way to put more pressure on them to move to the transit centre.

But he said classes and activities were already being stopped, leaving people inside the detention centres with little to do.

"Everybody's getting bored because there is no classes, no gym — and people do gym for physical and mental health," he said.

"And I know… a lot of people are getting bored.

"They also decreased the food, and all these changes are coming."

The Obama administration made a deal with to take 1,250 refugees from Australia late last year.

Mr Udin said he felt that the US was a "very good option" for himself and the other Manus Island asylum seekers, who were "afraid" to be sent to the East Lorengau centre.

"First of all, we want safety. The United States is a safe country and a safe place for us," he said.

"We are very happy to go to the United States.

"But still we don't know what will happen, and how many [the US will take."

Radio Australia
Copyright © 2017 Radio Australia. All Rights Reserved

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment