Manus issue: Hundreds to rally in Sydney

Hundreds of people are expected to rally in Redfern, Sydney, tonight (10 Nov) to call for an end to the Manus siege and for the Australian government to provide permanent protection.

Similar rallies are being held in Brisbane and Melbourne as thousands of people stand in solidarity with the refugees.  

According to the Refugee Action Coalition, authorities began removing the perimeter fencing of the detention centre late yesterday afternoon (Thursday 9 Nov), leaving the refugees even more vulnerable.

“Overnight a new notice was distributed in Port Moresby, where over 120 Manus refugees and asylum seekers being held, has made it obvious there are no plans for providing permanent resettlement,” says spokesman Ian Rintoul.  

“The notice declares that all those in Port Moresby will be returned to the Manus province.  

“The announcement will add to the refugees’ determination to stay in the detention centre, despite the desperate circumstances.”

Meanwhile, legal efforts to restore food, power and water to the detention centre continue in the PNG Supreme Court with appeal documents lodged Thursday afternoon (9 Nov).  A direction hearing has been scheduled for Monday, 13 November.

“All those on Manus have been held unlawfully for the last four years. It is simply beyond belief that the government would resort to the most barbaric methods imaginable to try and drive them into even more unsafe conditions on the island,” states Rintoul.

“The Australian and PNG governments must drop their threat to use force against the refugees inside the detention centre. Services must be restored. Medical assistance is urgently needed. They need safe, permanent protection.”

However, PNG’s Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Petrus Thomas, says alternative accommodation sites for the refugees and non-refugees offer safe, reasonable and good quality accommodation, with access to basic services including medical and other necessities of life.

Refugee Action Coalition Sydney (RAC) is a community activist organisation campaigning for the rights of refugees in Australia since 1999.

(Refugee advocates protesting in Sydney on Oct. 15, 2017 – Picture: VOA News)

Related article:
Manus issue: Immigration Minister acknowledges court’s ruling

Press release