Produced and edited by Tom Griggs. Footage by Reuters
Papua New Guinea police stormed an Australian-funded refugee detention centre on a remote island in the South Pacific on Friday, allegedly beating inmates who were refusing to move to new camps.
I can't - can't show myself. I can't see much, but they'll kill us. They hit us everywhere, on face, on us. They kill everyone. Please help us. Please, please help us.
The refugees have been staging protests for almost three weeks at the Manus Island centre. Refugees said that the remaining 300 people at the detention centre were being moved to alternative camps closer to local settlements on the island, which they say are unfinished and unsafe. The stand-off between the PNG authorities and refugees follows Canberra's refusal to bring them into Australia to have their asylum claims assessed, or to find third countries willing to resettle them.
Well, I'll just say that the people at the Manus Regional Processing Centre, which has been closed by the PNG authorities, should leave and go to the alternative accommodation that has been provided. But they think this is some way they can pressure the Australian government to let them come to Australia. Well, we will not be pressured. I want to be very clear about this. Our border security, the integrity of our borders, is maintained by my government. It is maintained by my government, and we will not outsource our migration policy to people smugglers. The people on Manus oshould go to the alternative places of safety with all the facilities they need. They should do so peacefully, and they should do so in accordance with the lawful directions of Papua New Guinea, which is the country in which the centre is located.
Australia's hardline policy on boat people - a term coined in the 1970s - is contentious. It turns back asylum seeker boats on the high seas, and sends any arrivals to live on remote islands in the South Pacific while awaiting resettlement to third countries. But after four years, fewer than 100 of more than 2000 people sent to the islands have been resettled. Australia has so far refused to accept an offer by New Zealand to resettle 150 refugees. Mark Wembridge, Financial Times.