Manus Island: Authorities must prevent violence and ensure safety of refugees – Amnesty International

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Manus Island: Authorities must prevent violence and ensure safety of refugees

 

Amnesty International researchers have been on Manus Island for several days interviewing a wide range of people about the human rights issues related to the proposed closure of the refugee detention centre at Lombrum.

Amnesty International is concerned about what it has heard so far regarding restricting food, power, water, medical and transport services for refugees, as well as the deteriorating mental health of refugees and fears of violence should the move go ahead.

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Australian and Papua New Guinean must respect the rights of those affected by the proposed move and avoid exacerbating an already extremely tense situation.

“Both PNG security officials and private security contractors, whether they are Papua New Guinean or foreign nationals, must abide by international obligations and refrain from excessive use of force,” said Kate Schuetze, Pacific Researcher with Amnesty International.

“The Australian and Papua New Guinean governments must take all necessary steps to prevent violence against refugees from the community and ensure their safety.”

Amnesty International is calling on the Australian government to accept its responsibility to protect the human rights of all those who have come under its jurisdiction as people seeking refuge, and put an end to the use of offshore processing centres.

Last week, New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, faced questions over New Zealand’s response to Australia’s offshore detention system. Amnesty International New Zealand has previously called on the New Zealand government to condemn the human rights abuses happening in the detention centres.

Amnesty International researchers will remain on the ground over the coming days and will be monitoring and observing the situation.