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Manus Island: Authorities must prevent violence and ensure safety of refugees

Amnesty researchers are on Manus Island and available for interview

Amnesty International researchers have been on Manus Island for several days interviewing a wide range of people about the human rights issues related to the proposed closure of the refugee detention centre at Lombrum.

Amnesty is concerned about reports that food, power, water, medical and transport services for refugees have been restricted, as well as the deteriorating mental health of refugees. There is also increasing fears of violence should the move go ahead.

Australian and Papua New Guinean (PNG) authorities must respect the rights of those affected by the proposed move and avoid exacerbating an already extremely tense situation.

Kate Schuetze, Pacific Researcher with Amnesty, said:

“Both PNG security officials and private security contractors, whether they are Papua New Guinean or foreign nationals, must abide by international obligations and refrain from excessive use of force.

“The Australian and Papua New Guinean governments must take all necessary steps to prevent violence against refugees from the community and ensure their safety.”

Amnesty is calling on the Australian government to accept its responsibility to protect the human rights of all those who have come under its jurisdiction as people seeking refuge, and put an end to the use of offshore processing centres.

Amnesty researchers will remain on the ground over the coming days, and will be monitoring and observing the situation.

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