Protect vulnerable refugees detained on Manus Island
After yet another death linked to Australia’s offshore detention policy on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG), we must stand with those at risk.
In the most recent tragedy on 2 October 2017, a man from Sri Lanka was found dead on Manus Island after he was hospitalized with injuries resulting from self-harm. He was suffering from mental health issues. Less than two months earlier, Hamed Shamshiripour, an Iranian refugee, was found dead in a forest near the Lorengau refugee centre. We still don’t know how he died.
Hundreds of refugees trapped on Manus Island, PNG, are at ongoing risk of violent attacks and abuse. Refugees were sent there by the Australian government as part of the country’s offshore processing and detention system. Those who arrive by boat to Australia to seek protection are not allowed to seek asylum and are instead sent here and to the island state of Nauru.
Australia’s offshore processing system is deliberately abusive and has left hundreds of people trapped on the islands for years.
In recent months the Australian and PNG authorities have been trying to close the refugee detention centre at Lombrum on Manus Island, and force refugees to other facilities in PNG. This would place the refugees closer to local communities, risking an increase in violence. Critical refugee support services, including medical care, are likely to be withdrawn for the hundreds of refugees who remain on Manus Island.
In September, 25 refugees were offered asylum in the United States of America, but for the vast majority of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island there is no clear plan for their future.
Help defend the rights of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island. Call on the Australian and Papua New Guinean governments to:
• Immediately transfer all asylum seekers and refugees to Australia
• Ensure that all those granted refugee status have the right to settle in Australia or another country
• Stop any actions or policies that put refugees on Manus Island at risk of further harm
• Ensure adequate medical care for all refugees and asylum seekers suffering injuries and trauma.
• Fully cooperate in independent investigations into the deaths of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and into reported attacks, and promptly update family members on the outcome of such investigations.