Australia Responsible for Dire Conditions of Refugees
15 November, 2017, 02:06 | Author: Diane Mills
Peace activists from Peace Action Wellington have today locked themselves to the gates of the Australian High Commission preventing anyone from leaving, to draw attention to the situation of the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island.
"This is a strong relationship that we have with Australia, it's an important relationship but as I say, when there is information to update you on then I will", she said.
She said New Zealand has the capacity to help the refugees and should be talking with the PNG government directly to solve "this humanitarian crisis".
The camp, on a disused army base on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, was declared closed on 31 October after a Supreme Court ruling that it was unconstitutional for Australia to house asylum seekers there. Everyone has the right to seek asylum and the Australian government is not above the law.
As the standoff on the island continues, the New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has condemned Australia's handling of the situation as "unacceptable".
An Australian minister on Friday, Nov. 10 predicted a conflict between Papua New Guinea police and hundreds of asylum seekers who have refused to leave a decommissioned immigration camp where many hold out hope of resettling in the United States. "If these people are taken in by New Zealand it will effectively be a back door into Australia", he said in a reference to the 1000 asylum seekers who died while travelling by boat to Australia between 2007 and 2013. "We made the offer because we saw a great need", she said.
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