Crisis looms on Manus as water and power turned off

| August 1, 2017 | Reply

Tensions escalated on Manus Island on Monday, after the power and water for Foxtrot compound was turned off around 1pm.

Refugees were again told that they ‘need to move to East Lorengau Transit Centre’, but nothing is said about where asylum seekers were meant to go inside the detention centre.

At one point, in the late afternoon, PNG police assembled menacingly at the Foxtrot gate. But refugees came from throughout the centre to the gate and demanded the power be reconnected to Foxtrot. By 6.30pm, the police had gone.

Tonight, nobody has moved and there are no guards in Foxtrot. Refugee ingenuity means that there is still some light and power in Foxtrot (see photos). But refugees are still demanding that power and water be officially turned back on, today, Tuesday.

The move against Foxtrot, and the threat of demolition, has created a dangerous situation.

Border Force is creating an impossible situation inside the detention centre, trying to drive people out by depriving them of the most basic necessities and services. It is a form of collective punishment against people that the Australian government has imprisoned illegally.

But nobody is willing to move to East Lorengau when they face the butchery of bush knife attacks. In any case, East Lorenagu can only accommodate 298 refugees, and there are over 700 on Manus.

“Malcolm Turnbull has shown his contempt for the most basic human rights of people in his care. Holding the Manus refugees hostage in this way is a new low for the Australian government,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The government has no plans to resettle and provide protection for those who are on Manus. Instead of brutalising people who need protection, they should end the stand-off at Foxtrot and restore the power and water. They can stop the atrocities, and meet the October deadline for closing Manus by bringing all the refugees and asylum seekers to Australia.”

The Refugee Action Coalition has called a snap “Bring Them Here” protest, Thursday, 3 August, 5.15 pm (for 5.30 start) at Malcolm Turnbull’s office, 287 New South Head Road, Edgecliff (near Edgecliff station).

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713


Category: Press releases

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