Twenty-two Manus refugees fly to the US for resettlement

| February 26, 2019 | Reply

Twenty-two Manus refugees (including two Iranians) left Port Moresby this morning (26 February) to be resettled in the US. This brings the total number of refugees from Manus to be accepted by the US to just 189.

In November 2018, there were 495 recognised refugees on Manus Island. However, many of them have not even been interviewed by US officials regarding their resettlement applications.

It is the first flight of refugees to the US since October 2018. Only one Iranian from Manus was accepted in 2018. Iranian refugees have been the subject of a ban that has effectively excluded them from the US intake for over the last 12 months.

“The US deal is glacially slow,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “At the present rate of resettlement, it will be another four years before the remaining refugees would be resettled in the US. But the signs are that the US deal is coming to a close, with hundreds of people still left on Manus without a future. The US deal is no solution for the asylum seekers Australia has dumped on Manus.

“Scores of Manus refugees are suffering breakdowns and serious mental health problems after being held on the island for more than five years. There is an epidemic of self-harm and attempted suicide on Manus Island. Around 25 refugees are in the Pacific International Hospital in urgent need for evacuation to Australia for medical care.

“Even though the medivac bill has been carried by the Parliament, the government is deliberately dragging its feet, delaying bringing sick people to Australia.

“There is an urgent need for all of them to be evacuated and provided protection in Australia.”

The horrific conditions imposed on Manus Island by the Australian government have been recognised internationally with Manus refugee Aziz Adam Mahamat winning the Martin Ennals human rights defender award in Geneva earlier this month.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Category: Press releases

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