• Press Release

Australia/PNG: Closure of Manus Island detention only first step to ending offshore nightmare for refugees

August 17, 2016

Responding to today’s reports that the Australian Government-run refugee detention centre on Manus Island will close Anna Neistat, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, said:

“While welcoming the news that the centre will close Amnesty International urges the Australian Government to bring those currently held there to Australia. We must not forget that the Government set up a system of deliberate abuse of and cruelty towards almost two thousand people in two detention centres who are simply looking for a safe place to rebuild their lives.”

“Amnesty International calls on Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton to urgently confirm the timeframe by which it will close the detention centre and safely settle refugees in Australia. Offshore processing can no longer be part of Australia’s response to those attempting to arrive here by boat seeking protection.”

Amnesty International recently investigated conditions in Nauru, and in November 2013 our team of investigators visited Manus Island. We found patterns of deliberate abuse at the hands of the Australian Government. These abuses are finally becoming known to other countries around the world.

“It is high time the people currently trapped on Manus Island in PNG and on Nauru to be immediately brought to Australia to assess their refugee claims and live in the community. The Australian Government must be held accountable for the many years of harm it has inflicted upon people seeking its protection, as well as shoulder its share of responsibility and treat people seeking asylum fairly.”