​Asylum seeker begs to be returned to Australia

PNG is not ready to resettle refugees in the country, says an Iranian man who came to Christmas Island to seek asylum in Australia, but ended up at the Manus centre instead.

“We are not happy to settle here and so I beg to you and your government to do something. Four years we have had enough of being kept as prisoners. We didn’t do any wrong,” he said when requesting his identity to remain unknown in this report.

In an interview with Loop PNG in Port Moresby with his lawyer, the Iranian, who refused to undergo interviews for the processing of his status while in Manus, said they are not happy with plans to have them resettled here.

“We are not asking, we beg your government to stop this deal and send us back to Australia, where we came from, Christmas Island. PNG is not ready to settle refugees here and you know that.

“They didn’t come here because they are seeking asylum from this country. They are brought here because of Australia’s policy. We are victims of the government and they are using us, and I don’t know for how long they want to abuse us,” he said.

He came to Port Moresby last week to get treatment for his left knee after injuring it two years ago while playing soccer.

He is among 90 others in Port Moresby on medical grounds.

He had a torn ligament and says he needs to see a specialist, adding he was supposed to have gone to Australia for treatment two years ago.

He now believes them being brought to Port Moresby for medical treatment is more than what it seems and says they were told they will not return to Manus.

But PNG’s acting Migration Officer, Solomon Kantha, in responding to questions raised by this newsroom, said none of the refugees or non-refugees brought from Manus on medical grounds will be resettled in Port Moresby or any other centre.

“No one from the medical transfers will be settled in Port Moresby or anywhere else. Only refugees with a visa and job placement can be considered for settlement,” he said.

The acting Chief Migration Officer also cleared the air on the Bomana Immigration Transit Centre that is currently under construction.

“The site at Bomana is an Immigration Transit Centre built to support PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority. These are not houses for settlement,” he said.

Sally Pokiton
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