15 Nov 2017

Manus Island refugees deny former guard's claims

7:21 pm on 15 November 2017

Refugees occupying the former detention centre on Manus Island have rejected claims made by a New Zealander that they are criminals who should not be resettled here.

The 98th daily protest in the centre, 6-11-17.

Photo: supplied

About 400 refugees have been refusing to leave the centre for two weeks, despite food, water and power being cut.

The man, known as Ian, says he was a guard on Manus Island for 18 months and has alleged the men now refusing to leave the centre are the ones who have caused problems in the local community.

"They are not the calibre of people you want to come into a country and try and re-establish themselves.

"The people who have transitioned out to the community, quite possibly not a problem - but the ones that remain would be a major issue."

But Iranian refugee Benham Satah said he witnessed Manus Island guards murdering fellow detainee Reza Berati in 2014.

Mr Satah said he withstood intimidation from other guards and testified in court against Joshua Kaluvia and Louie Efi.

"These people who worked here for security, they were involved in torturing us in any way they could do.

"Two of those ex patriot were involved in Reza Berati's murder ... They are criminals, they are the ones who should be charged and they are the ones who should receive justice for the crimes they did to many, many people on Manus Island.

"I am sure that one day, when we get released, people will be asked and people who suffered here and got tortured will testify for the torture that Australia deliberately did on them."

Kurdish journalist and refugee on Manus Island Behrouz Boochani said it was a case of criminals guarding the inmates.

Officials gathered at the gate of Foxtrot compound.

Officials gathered at the gate of Foxtrot compound. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

"Those people who have been here working in the Manus prison camp - I am not going to say all of them - but most of them are criminals because they have been a part of this systematic torture.

"They have been violating human rights in this prison camp."

Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Adam said extreme vetting by the United States had not exposed criminality among the refugees alleged by Ian.

"So far 350 men have done their process with the United States authority, some of our friends who have been accepted as refugees, some of them flew to the US and the rest are still waiting to go.

"So if there is anything like that, the US Homeland Security will definitely identify, not someone like Ian will say on the media."

So far 54 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru have been resettled in America.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has offered over $US2 million to Papua New Guinea and aid agencies to help care for Manus Island refugees.

Australian senate directs PM to accept NZ refugee offer

Australian Senator Nick McKim has tweeted that the Senate has instructed Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to accept New Zealand's offer to resettle some of the Manus Island and Nauru refugees.

On Tuesday, the United Nations refugee agency also urged Australia to accept New Zealand's offer.

Jacinda Ardern and Malcolm Turnbull

Jacinda Ardern and Malcolm Turnbull Photo: AFP

Mr Turnbull met with US President Donald Trump at the East Asia summit in the Phillipines on Tuesday.

But he would not tell reporters if they discussed the US resettlement deal during the half-hour meeting in Manila.

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