Australian detention centre in Port Moresby is worse than Manus; worse than prison

| August 22, 2019 | Reply

Refugee advocates have growing concerns regarding the conditions at the high security detention centre annexed to the Bomana prison.

Information about the newly opened Bomana detention centre indicates that conditions at the centre are as bad as those in the first months of the opening of the Lombrum detention centre on Manus.

The fifty-two men are being held in separate fenced compounds within the detention centre, unable to move freely between compounds. Like the early days on Manus Island, asylum seekers are forbidden to communicate between compounds. There are no phones and no means of communication with the asylum seekers being detained; they are cut off from family and any legal support.

PNG immigration has been unable, or unwilling, to facilitate individual visits to any of the asylum seekers. They are unable to confirm that visiting is even possible.

These conditions are worse than prison and are straight out of the Australian government’s play-book on punitive immigration detention.

“The conditions at Bomana are intolerable. It is clear that the detention of asylum seekers in PNG is still being controlled by Australia. The Bomana detention centre is breaching the constitutional rights of asylum seekers being held there,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Reports indicate that medications are being withheld, and that men who have self-harmed are being held at police lock-ups for up to 24 hours before getting medical or mental health treatment.”

“Bomana is a return to the most barbaric detention conditions for people who have committed no crime. Many of those being held in Bomana have never even had a refugee assessment. Like Australia, the PNG government is unable to return so-called ‘negatives’ to Iran or Pakistan. They should be freed.

“Detention at Lombrum was found to be unlawful by the PNG Supreme Court in 2016. Yet, Australia is again pushing PNG into establishing a regime of indefinite detention. The brutality has to stop.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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