After eleven days, the Manus Island hunger strike remains hundreds strong.
Despite the Immigration Minister’s attempts to maintain a media blackout, the truth about Manus Island is still getting out.
The Minister’s intemperate statements that asylum seekers are making “exaggerated and unfounded claims” are driving more people to join the protest. Ninety-five percent of Mike Compound – over 300 people – is now on hunger strike.
These photos of hunger strikers in Foxtrot compound were taken Thursday 22 January. More than 30 people collapsed and were taken to medical on the morning of Thursday 22 January in Foxtrot compound alone. The asylum seeker in the wheelchair has lost 8 kgs since beginning the hunger strike.
A message from another compound reads: “They are bringing food and fruit every day to [en]courage people to break the protest, but we wont do that and this the 5th day that nobody go to the mess to eat food, [not] even 1 person.”
Meanwhile the medical abuses mount. It has become routine for people taken to IHMS to be returned to their compounds without treatment.
Two Sudanese asylum seekers who swallowed nail clippers on Wednesday 21 January were sent back to their compound that same day, without treatment. After twenty-fours in pain, security guards eventually took them back to the IHMS clinic on Thursday, 22nd. It is believed they have now been medivacced to Port Moresby.
“The withdrawal of medical assistance to asylum seekers is nothing short of barbaric. The Minister is refusing to comment on what is happening on Manus Island because the actions of the government cannot be defended,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
Fears for jailed Manus asylum seekers
Meanwhile fears are held for the welfare of the asylum seekers being held in the Lorengau jail.
“The people being held in Lorengau and in Chauka are particularly vulnerable,” said Rintoul, “We know that people are being interrogated by Australian officials in Chauka. Given the history of the PNG police involvement in the violent attack on the asylum seekers last year, we need a guarantee of the safety of the asylum seekers in their custody.”
For more information , contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713
Category: Press releases