More danger as PNG refugees pushed into the community

| November 14, 2019 | Reply

Refugees living in Port Moresby’s Granville Motel since being transferred from Manus Island (some for medical treatment that they never got), have been issued notices that they are being transferred into the community (see notice at right).

The first 15 people are being moved today, Thursday 13 November; around 50 are still at Granville. It is the beginning of the end of using Granville, but it is a move that creates more uncertainty and will leave refugees impoverished and even more stressed and vulnerable.

Despite the shocking history of numbers refugees being assaulted, bashed and robbed, the community accommodation will not be guarded. One of the suburbs of the community accommodation, Boroko, is considered particularly dangerous. A pamphlet distributed to refugees by PNG service provider, JDA, says ‘Walk in company at all times’, and that ‘Safe times to be out and about is from 7.30am to 5.30pm.’

While buses provided safe transport from Granville, there will also be no transport provided in the community, although a recent report revealed there was one major mugging on the Boroko to City bus route every three hours. Refugees will be given just two taxi vouchers a month; not enough to even cover necessary medical appointments to their only source of medical treatment, Pacific International Hospital (PIH).

Refugees will also be expected to provide their own food and cook for themselves which will also mean refugees will be exposed to further danger by having to go to the shops. The 200 kina (about A$100) a week allowance will not cover the costs of food, water, phone, clothing, and personal necessities; more refugees will be prisoners in their rooms and driven into poverty.

“Instead of resettlement, refugees are being subjected to even more uncertainty and danger,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The forced move into the community will create more casualties of Australia’s offshore detention regime.

“Refugees are now into the seventh year of imprisonment with no future in sight. Refugees who are accepted to go to the US are still waiting after almost a year. The US resettlement deal will not provide places for those left on Manus and Nauru, and the Australian government will not consider New Zealand’s resettlement offer.

“PNG is a dangerous place for refugees. The move to the community solves nothing. The Australian government has been holding them illegally for over six years. It’s time they were given their freedom and the secure resettlement they need.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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