Advocates concerned over Manus sexual harassment allegations

| April 16, 2019 | Reply

A 59 year-old security manager on Manus Island was released on 15, 000 kina bail on 9 April, over sexual harassment allegations to appear in Lorengau court on 28 April. His surrendered passport remains with the Lorengau police.

Refugee advocates are concerned that there seem to be no other appropriate bail conditions placed on the alleged perpetrator, that would be common in Australian courts, such as an order not to approach or to make contact with the alleged victims or .

“There is an extreme power differential in this particular case,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The potential for interference does not seem to have been taken into account, or properly put before the court, regarding the bail application or bail conditions to be considered to be placed on the alleged offender. There is an enormous capacity for the alleged perpetrator to influence the situation on Manus, with serious consequences for justice being done on Manus. Manus is a relatively small community with few employment opportunities.

“There are precious few jobs on Manus, most of them are associated with the small number of security companies with contracts for the detention arrangements on Manus. The presence of the contractors has brought give disparities in influence and wealth. difference between having, and not having a job can be devastating for individuals and their extended families.

“The alleged victims and any witnesses are very vulnerable. It is very important that everything about this case is transparent. We have seen similar cases on Manus that has undermined confidence in the justice system, because where alleged offenders have been able to use their privileged position to avoid facing court.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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