Detention shifts to Port Moresby as last refugees transferred off Manus

| September 5, 2019 | Reply

Thirty-five refugees are being transferred from Manus to Port Moresby today, Thursday 5 September.

The transfer of the last 35 refugees and asylum seekers from Manus to Port Moresby will take place on Friday 6 September.

But JDA, the refugee service provider, responsible for the transfer, has been unable to provide any details of what services will be available or how the refugees will be able to survive in Port Moresby.

For now, the refugees have been housed in several hotels in Port Moresby – but it is essentially a not-so-gilded cage. Some of the hotels are strictly guarded with restrictions on visitors and strict limits on times allowed out of the hotel.

“The move is a hasty attempt by Australia and PNG immigration to be seen to ‘close Manus detention’, but the refugees are not free. They are not safe. Immigration is just shifting the detention deckchairs. There are no resettlement arrangements, and nothing in place to meet the high needs of hundreds of people traumatised by six years of brutality on Manus Island,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The last refugees will be transferred from Manus to Port Moresby tomorrow, but detention in Port Moresby is a looming disaster. After six years, refugees need resettlement.”

Meanwhile fears are still held for the welfare 53 so–called ‘negatives’ imprisoned in the closed Australian-built Bomana detention facility. Although many of the 53 have never had refugee determinations, they have been deemed to have negative determinations, they have been held incommunicado for over three weeks.

“It is astounding that the PNG government has allowed 53 people to be disappeared in what is a flagrant breach of human rights and a violation of PNG’s constitution. They are cut off from lawyers, family and medical support,” said Rintoul. “PNG must provide phones and immediate access to the people being held in the Bomana detention.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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