Manus Island medical transfers 'suspicious'

2:01 pm on 23 August 2017

Thirty men detained by Australia on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island were transferred to Port Moresby for medical treatment yesterday in circumstances described as suspicious.

Detention centre guards on Manus Island.

Detention centre guards on Manus Island. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

The Kurdish journalist and detainee Behrouz Boochani reported the 30 men joined 30 others who were transferred two weeks ago with another 30 on the island told they would follow next week.

Mr Boochani said the transfers were suspicious because some of the men were only suffering from simple ailments.

Authorities are trying to evict about 800 men from the Manus Island detention centre, which is due to close by November.

Mr Boochani said the transferees were taken to a Port Moresby motel and told they would not be returning to Manus.

"Several refugees died on this island because of medical neglect, so it is so suspicious that they are sending people to Port Moresby hospital," he said.

"I talked with them, they said 'just they dropped us here' and they didn't provide any medical treatment for them."

Behrouz Boochani said some detainees refused to be transferred.

Protest in Mike compound, Manus Island detention centre, 22-8-17

Protest in Mike compound, Manus Island detention centre, 22-8-17 Photo: Supplied

Peaceful protest action inside the detention centre entered its 22nd day on Tuesday.

Refugees are demonstrating against the centre's gradual demolition and restrictions to the power and water supply considered part of efforts to evict them.

The men are being coerced into moving to another facility in nearby Lorengau.

But after four years of detention for seeking asylum in Australia, the men fear leaving the centre will result in them being forced to a settle in Papua New Guinea.

Yesterday, Mr Boochani also reported that the room which housed telephones for the detainees' use had been knocked down.