19 Feb 2014

Blunt warning for Australia's asylum seekers after killing

6:19 am on 19 February 2014

Australia's Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, has warned that asylum seekers who escape the off-shore processing centre on Manus Island, are putting themselves at great risk.

One person is dead and one was flown to Australia in a critical condition on Tuesday, after two nights of rioting and escapes from the Manus camp.

The Refugee Action Coalition says the asylum seekers were being attacked by PNG police officers and locals on Monday night, and they were escaping the camp to flee for their lives.

But Scott Morrison told local media he had been advised that PNG police did not enter the centre and only dealt with people who tried to escape.

He says the centre was built for their protection and those who behave in a disorderly way outside of it, subject themselves to the response of law enforcement.

"This is a tragedy, but this was a very dangerous situation, where people decided to protest in a very violent way and to take themselves outside the centre, and place themselves at great risk."

Scott Morrison says the camp was back to operating as normal yesterday morning.