Australia Responsible for Dire Conditions of Refugees

Refugees at Manus Island detention centre staging a protest on November 7

The Catholic Bishop Conference is calling on the PNG and Australian Government to assist the 492 refugees and asylum seekers in Manus with basic needs.

"Australia has illegally detained these asylum-seekers for years now, and now they've essentially abandoned them and they've got no food, no water, no medicine, and no power".

The UNHCR has branded the situation a "humanitarian emergency", with water and electricity cut off, no health care or food supply, and protesters forced to live in makeshift shelters.

More than 100 of the refugees have left for three "transition" centers on Manus since it was officially closed.

"Immigration is boring holes in the water tanks where we had been collecting rain water".

The men were also threatened with "arrest and prosecution" if they remained at the site after fencing was demolished. The accommodation they have been told to move to remains unfinished and uninhabitable, independent observers say.

Those protesting are demanding safe relocation in a third country.

Those now residing inside the closed processing centre have cited safety concerns, claiming they face attack at the hands of locals at new facilities near the main township of Lorengau.

Mr Boochani wrote in the Guardian that he and others were making the stand for "freedom".

Australia's Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said on Thursday that the situation was "unacceptable...but the government won't be backing down". "He has become a mere subject for the media".

Australia has used the Manus island center, and another on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru, to detain asylum seekers who try to reach its shores by boat.

There are 400 refugees and asylum seekers who have barricaded themselves inside the mothballed detention centre, saying they fear for their safety if they leave.

According to an Australian journalist, Ardern and Turnbull "chatted informally" early Monday morning (NZT) following her remarks, although it was unclear whether Manus had been mentioned.

An Australian minister on Friday, Nov. 10 predicted a conflict between Papua New Guinea police and hundreds of asylum seekers who have refused to leave a decommissioned immigration camp where many hold out hope of resettling in the United States.

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