Ardern planning 'substantive' Manus talks

Pauline Gross
November 15, 2017

"The refugees are only watching them", he said. The accommodation they have been told to move to remains unfinished and uninhabitable, independent observers say.

The U.N. has allegedly warned the stand-off is a "looming humanitarian crisis".

Morteza Saffari, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said, "The Australian government, despite all its apparent support for human rights, has made it very hard for those taking refuge there and pays no attention to human rights [of those concerned] whatsoever", ICANA reported on Saturday.

"What Australia is doing is inhumane. the people on Manus Island need our help, they have committed no crime and shouldn't be locked up for exercising their right to seek asylum", she said.

PNG authorities have, thus far, refrained from using force in their efforts to move people on.

"Some left this morning, but there are more than 500 men that remain and we will not move", said one detainee who declined to be named for fear of jeopardizing his application for USA resettlement. Previous confrontations, in 2014, 2015 and this year, have led to riots and the centre being invaded: refugees have been murdered, shot and attacked with machetes.

The camp is located on the site of a former PNG naval facility. But an appeal will be heard in the PNG supreme court on Monday.

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The Prime Minister acknowledges she could be seen as an irritant to the Australians over her persistence on resettling the Manus Island refugees. Australia has consistently rejected the offer, saying it represents a "back door" to Australia, something it will not abide.

But Ms Adern's criticism of Australia's handling of the refugee crisis on the island - which she has described as unacceptable - has prompted a warning from New Zealand's opposition for her to tread carefully.

Ardern, who previously reiterated NZ's offer, criticised Australia's unyielding stance on Sunday.

'We made the offer because we saw a great need. "No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done. I think it's clear that we don't see what's happening there as acceptable, that's why the offer's there".

Papua New Guinea is planning to evict more than 400 refugees who refuse to leave an offshore detention center on Manus Island.

Newshub has also learned that New Zealand is upset at the Australian media's leaking of official intelligence on how boats have been stopped from coming to New Zealand. "Stop keeping political hostages".

But by the end of the day in Australia it was unclear what steps authorities would take next.

Other reports by GizPress

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