Seventeen Manus refugees leave PNG to be resettled in the US

| September 25, 2018 | Reply

Seventeen refugees, held on Manus Island for almost five years, flew from Port Moresby today, Tuesday 25 September, to be resettled in the US.

The seventeen are single men, 11 Pakistanis, and six Rohingyans.

The total number of refugees from Manus accepted by the US so far is just 147. But over 600 remain in limbo on Manus or in Port Moresby, and around 800 on Nauru.

Recent interviews with US officials confirm that the US is not accepting Iranians, Somali, Sudanese, Iraqi or Syrian refugees for resettlement.

“The failure of the US deal has left the PNG and the Australian governments with a major humanitarian and refugee rights issue,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “While the health crisis mounts in PNG and Nauru, it is now clear that hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers denied resettlement in the US have nowhere to go – except Australia.”

Underlining the dangers facing refugees in PNG, one of the Pakistani refugees was attacked and robbed in broad daylight by a gang wielding knives, just days before he left for the US.

Meanwhile the 46-year-old Iraqi refugee who swallowed the razor blades and nail clippers on 14 September is being shuttled between the Port Moresby general hospital and the Pacific International Hospital still waiting for treatment, despite suffering severe abdominal pain.

“The PNG government is at a loss to know how to deal with the refugees that Australia has dumped on them,” said Rintoul. “Around 60 more acute medical cases transferred from Manus to Port Moresby are waiting – some for almost two years – for treatment that never comes.”

Meanwhile, legal action in the Federal court decisions is resulting in children and families being brought to Australia from Nauru for care they cannot receive on the island.

In June, the government heartlessly refused to allow the mother, brother and wife of Fariborz the Iranian asylum seeker who suicided on Nauru to come to Australia to join their immediate family here.

Now, three months later, legal action based on the Australian government’s duty of care to refugees and asylum seekers in its control, has finally resulted in them being brought to Australia, despite the government’s political opposition.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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