29 May 2017

Manus refugees resist move to open facility

1:50 pm on 29 May 2017

Refugees detained by Australia on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea are resisting pressure to move from the detention centre to an open facility in nearby Lorengau town.

An Indian asylum seeker inside N block at the Manus detention center.

An Indian asylum seeker inside N block at the Manus detention center. Photo: Refugee Action Coalition

The gradual closure of the detention centre has begun with residents evicted from N block in Foxtrot compound.

Electricity to N block is due to be disconnected today although the Refugee Action Coalition says five asylum seekers remain inside.

Asylum seekers not given refugee status are not allowed to leave detention and the coalition says other N block asylum seekers have been moved to other compounds.

The Kurdish journalist and detainee Behrouz Boochani reports 20 N block refugees have taken up residence in a tent in another compound and are refusing to move to the Lorengau facility.

Foxtrot compound is due to be closed at the end of June with 250 asylum seekers moved to other compounds.

Mr Boochani says the resulting overcrowding is a tactic to force refugees into Lorengau and and to settle in PNG.

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