Manus refugees dig in to defy siege

| November 2, 2017 | Reply

Manus refugees are literally digging in as they prepare to survive the government siege of the Manus detention centre.

The video clips below give a snapshot of life in side the detention centre, day 2 of the seige.

Overnight refugees dug a well in Oscar compound that has given them a precious source of water – good enough to drink, if needs be, and will ensure some toilets can be flushed.

Some people are sleeping outside to escape the oppressive heat and airlessness of the converted shipping containers that used to be their accommodation.

Well dug in Oscar compound for water

In 2015, hundreds of Manus detainees staged a mass hunger strike when the government first tried to force them to move to East Lorengau. It was just a year since locals had attacked the camp and murdered Reza Barati.

In 2015, the government took away the drinking water – see photo – and took scores of others to prison, in their atempt to break the detainees’ resistance.

In 2015, the determination of the hunger strike won. Not one refugee has been forcibly transferred to East Lorengau. But many refugees have been bashed, robbed and mutilated with knives and machetes in attacks around the Lorengau settlement.

Water was also taken away during the Manus hunger strike in 2015

Almost three years later, and the struggle of the men imprisoned on Manus is the same. Only this time the government has cut off the water, the power and their food.

East Lorenagau is still unsafe; as is West Lorenagau and Hillside, even if they were habitable.

No provision has been made for proper medical care. Refugees have been told a GP clinic will operate in busines hours at East Lornegau, but otherwise refugees and asylum seekers will only have access to the Lorengau hospital which does not even have enough resources to provide medical care for the Manusians. Noone has explained how anyone living in the community will be paid an allowance or how they will be fed.

Most of all, the refugees and asylum seekers are still being deprived of their freedom and a secure future.

The Refugee Action Coalition in Sydney has called a protest for Saturday, 4 November, 1pm, Hyde Park North.

There will also be protests in:

Brisbane, 6pm Friday 3rd November at King George Square

Canberra 5:30pm Friday 3rd November Garema Place

Melbourne: 2pm Saturday 4th November, State Library

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713



Category: Press releases

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