Hundreds of Manus detainees taking pills

9:40 am on 13 October 2016

A detainee held by Australia in Papua New Guinea says about half of its 900 male detainees take pills every day for mental disorders.

Residents of the Manus Island processing centre queue for food.

Residents of the Manus Island processing centre queue for food. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

Information leaked to the Saturday Paper said UN inspections have found that 88 percent of detainees on PNG's Manus Island are suffering from mental disorders due to their prolonged detention, a rate among the highest of any population in the world.

The UN would not discuss their reports with RNZ International, but the Kurdish Iranian detainee, Behrouz Boochani, said separation from their families damages the asylum seekers' mental health.

"Every day more than 400 persons (take) sleep tablets and some tablets for their mental. These people they are separated with their families, daughter, son, wife. All of people have problem. Mental problem or physical problem."

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs