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Papua New Guinea to close parts of Manus refugee camp

18 May 2017
Papua New Guinea to close parts of Manus refugee camp

At a meeting, Papua New Guinea immigration officials told refugees that an area of the Manus camp would close on May 28, with the rest of the compound to shut on June 30.

"They will start to decommission parts of the centre in the run up", Peter Dutton, Australia's Immigration Minister, told 3AW radio in the Australian city of Melbourne.

'The potential here is that some detainees may die as a result of the announcement.

According to the documents obtained by the newspaper, the plan, drafted in 2016, outlined attempts to push those officially recognized as refugees to first accept resettlement to the East Lorengau transit center and then to Papua New Guinea, while forcing people without refugee status to return to their home countries. Papua New Guinea is not a safe place for these detainees, ' Senator McKim told reporters in Hobart on Tuesday.

Those held on Manus Island are allowed to travel to Lorengau during the day but almost all choose to remain in the detention centre amid allegations of assaults and threats against them by residents.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said refugees who aren't taken under the United States resettlement deal will settle in PNG, while non-refugees will be sent back to their home country.

Australian authorities will repatriate asylum-seekers who are found not to be refugees in the Manus Island detention centre this year, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed on Thursday.

Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani said Australia was continuing to violate human rights.

"Manus prison is full of tension", Boochani, wrote in his next tweet.

"Also the local people don't want the refugees in their small community because they are with a small population and traditional culture".

The governments in Port Moresby and Canberra have struggled to come up with a plan for Manus ever since the PNG Supreme Court ordered the facility closed previous year.

There's about 800 people still living there and they've been given a few options to choose from.

Manus Island and Nauru asylum centres have been condemned by human rights groups and the United Nations for cramped conditions, violence and inadequate medical facilities.

An Amnesty International report, released this week, found the Turnbull government had downplayed the danger faced by detainees.

Mr Dutton has repeatedly stated PNG soldiers opened fire on the centre because they were concerned about the welfare of a young boy who was allegedly led into the compound.

Peter Dutton says the U.S. is not "putting roadblocks" in the way of the resettlement deal.