Manus Island: Australia confirms removal of asylum seekers | 2017-11-24 |

Manus Island: Australia confirms removal of asylum seekers

Sun Online Desk     24th November, 2017 02:08:53 printer

Manus Island: Australia confirms removal of asylum seekers

PNG police resumed an operation to remove asylum seekers on Friday


Asylum seekers who refused to leave a former Australian-run detention centre in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been moved to new housing after a three-week stand-off, Canberra has confirmed.


The group had resisted leaving the Manus Island camp after it shut on 31 October, fearing attacks by locals.


Buses carrying about 300 asylum seekers left the centre on Friday after police entered the facility for a second day.


Some detainees claimed they were struck with poles by PNG police.


Australia's Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said that claims of violence were "inaccurate and exaggerated". Australian police said they were not involved in the operation.


Why are the asylum seekers on Manus Island?


Under a controversial policy, Australia has detained asylum seekers arriving by boat in centres on Manus Island and Nauru, a small Pacific nation.


The government has said the detainees will never settle in Australia, arguing such a move would encourage human trafficking and prompt deaths at sea.


The Manus Island centre, which held only men, was shut down by Australia after a PNG court ruled it was unconstitutional. A majority of the men still there are refugees, the UN says.


About 600 asylum seekers and refugees initially refused to leave the camp, arguing they were unsafe in the local community - where their presence is a cause of tension.


Source: BBC