Manus Island and Nauru detention centres

The Papua New Guinea (PNG) government sent a letter to asylum seekers in Manus Island detention centre on September 27 saying the centre will be closed and outlining the next steps.

The letter states: “The purpose of this centre is for refugee status processing. All processing will end soon.”

The letter can be seen as moves by the Australian and PNG governments to close Manus Island detention centre.

“AT 1330, ASYLUM SEEKER [REDACTED] APPROACHED SAVE THE CHILDREN (SCA) CASEWORKER (CW) [REDACTED] IN THE MESS AT RPC3. [REDACTED] WAS CRYING AND WAS OBSERVED TO BE VERY SHAKEN. [REDACTED] AND [REDACTED] SAT OUTSIDE WHERE [REDACTED] REPORTED THAT A WILSONS SECURITY GUARD HAD JUST HIT HIM.”

An Australian lawyer who lodged a submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2014 calling for an investigation of Australian detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, told a Refugee Action Collective (RAC) forum in Melbourne on September 5 that the release of the Nauru files has improved the chances of action being taken.

Photos by Chelsea Dennison The good turnout to national rallies on August 27 and 28 shows the refugee rights' movement is starting to gain political ground. A number of pro-asylum seeker groups are forming to force an end to the cruel policy of locking up refugees in offshore detention.
When the Census website crashed and was taken offline on August 9, the ABS was quick to blame overseas hackers. And in its defence, blaming foreigners has worked pretty well for authorities in this country on pretty much every other issue up till now.
The Australian government has once again showed it is a law unto itself. The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court asked it to provide information by August 4 on how it planned to relocate the people in Manus Island detention centre. No one showed up to court. PNG lawyer Ben Lomani, who has represented the refugees and asylum seekers in the Manus Island detention centre throughout the case, sent documents relating to compensation for the men on Manus Island to the Australian High Commission last year. He has still not received a reply.
In the dead of night on July 26, a young Sudanese man, whom we will call “Walleed”, was forcibly removed by police from a van. Video footage shows a dozen protestors shouting “We love you” and “We will not let you be forgotten” as he is dragged into Melbourne airport. Refugee activists had surrounded the van and blocked it from entering the airport for a few hours before police moved in.
This election campaign has seen the Coalition blustering that its harsh policies are stopping the people smugglers and deaths at sea, Labor trying to ignore the issue, and the Daily Telegraph running front page headlines such as “The boats are back”. But standing in defiance for more than 100 days is a group of refugees and asylum seekers protesting inside the Nauru detention centre. Through low-resolution photos and shaky video footage, images of the protesters have reached the world, despite intimidation from guards and new fences built to keep cameras out.
More than 20 students were injured at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) in Port Moresby when police opened fire on students protesting against corruption on June 8. Several of those injured remain in a critical condition. Students have been protesting and boycotting classes since May 2. The students were demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Peter O'Neill over corruption allegations and authoritarian moves to block investigation of the allegations.
Protesters locked themselves in a cage outside the Department of Immigration at 7am on June 6 to protest against the mandatory and indefinite detention of people seeking asylum. Spokesperson for the group, Our Backyard, Melanie Brown said: “We are occupying this department today because of the government's policy to imprison innocent people and deny them basic rights, both offshore and right here in our backyard.”
Chasing Asylum Directed by Eva Orner Selected cinemas Chasing Asylum is a new documentary that shows the Nauru and Manus Island detention centres for the “Hell on Earth” and “human dumping grounds” they are.
The Divest from Detention network disrupted the Australian Council of Super Investors (ACSI) annual conference in Melbourne on May 10. Activists gained access to the main stage where they played audio recordings of protesters on Nauru and held banners reading “Close the camps” and “Mandatory detention can't be risk managed”. Spokesperson for the network Liz Patterson said: “ACSI already recommends divestment from unethical businesses like tobacco. They must extend this to detention.
Zebedee Parkes, an activist in Sydney’s Refugee Action Coalition and member of Socialist Alliance prepared this for Green Left Weekly. 1. Asylum seeker protests in Nauru detention centre for more than 60 days Protests in the Nauru detention centre started on March 20 and have now continued for more than 60 days in the face of hostility from guards and attempts to stop messages from getting out to the world.
Spanish conglomerate Ferrovial, which recently succeeded in a takeover bid for Broadspectrum, formerly known as Transfield, the company that runs the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, has implied that it will not seek a further contract to run the centres. In a statement Ferrovial noted that providing services at regional processing centres was not a "core part of the acquisition rationale and valuation and it is not a strategic activity in Ferrovial's portfolio. Ferrovial's view is that this will not form part of its services offering in the future."
On April 30, 1500 people rallied in Melbourne calling on the federal government to bring the all the asylum seekers in offshore detention to Australia. The rally was part of a national weekend of action. The rally was called after the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea ruled that the Manus Island Detention Centre was illegal.
Several hundred people rallied outside the department of immigration in Sydney on April 29. They were part of nation-wide #BringThemHere actions, demanding the federal Coalition government bring the 850 asylum seekers and refugees currently in Manus Island Detention Centre to Australia. Earlier in the week, the PNG Supreme Court had ruled that the detention centre was in breach of its constitution. Aboriginal activist and Socialist Alliance Senate candidate Ken Canning said: "The way this government is treating these people, a lot of them will die — and that is murder."

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