Australian government shuts off power to refugees imprisoned on Manus Island
17 July 2017
At the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG), asylum seekers are being forced into worsening living conditions, including the disconnection of electricity. The Australian government is seeking to force them into a less secure facility, from where they will be dumped in PNG to live in impoverished conditions.
Buzzfeed News obtained information and photos from the Manus refugees, showing the destruction of the basic facilities. On June 23, the gym was shut down and the equipment removed by the local police. The gym had helped detainees deal with their mental health problems and sleep better.
Parts of the camp have been demolished and the Internet facility was taken away, leaving mobile phones as the only connection to the outside world for the detainees.
An Iranian refugee Amir Taghinia told Buzzfeed the authorities were “making the food quality much more undesirable than before.” Meals were being served uncooked and “raw.” Food supplies were also being cut, so that detainees at the end of the line might not eat.
English classes had been cancelled for more than four weeks, leaving detainees with little to do during the day. Those interviewed said these measures were “deliberate” to “provoke the guys” and force them to move to the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre (ELRTC) near Lorengau, the island’s major town.
Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish-Iranian journalist imprisoned on Manus Island, said: “Two weeks ago some other refugees left Foxtrot [part of the existing compound] and went to the rooms which were part of the old medical clinic but they could not stay there because immigration cut the power and they were…