Manus Island detention centre to start closing on May 28

Manus Island detention centre to start closing on May 28

Manus Island detention centre to start closing on May 28

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said refugees who aren't taken under the U.S. resettlement deal will settle in PNG, while non-refugees will be sent back to their home country. "You need to consider your options", the official said in a recording heard by the BBC.

"You have an opportunity to get on with your life". "The area will be locked and no one will be permitted to enter", the letter, from PNG's immigration authority, states.

"Immigration is telling people that their plan is to remove those people who were interviewed for America to East Lorengau camp, which is close to Lorengau town", said Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish Iranian detained on Manus for almost four years, referring to the island's major town.

Australia detains asylum seekers who arrive by boat at the Manus Island centre and on the nation of Nauru.

Australia agreed with former U.S. President Barack Obama late past year for the United States to resettle up to 1,250 asylum seekers held in much criticized processing camps on Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

The governments in Port Moresby and Canberra have struggled to come up with a plan for Manus ever since the PNG Supreme Court ordered the facility closed a year ago.

Refugees could reside in the PNG community or live temporarily at a transit centre in East Lorengau, the men were told, but "no one will be resettled in Australia".

The deadline for applying for voluntary return with assistance was August 30, after which returns would be managed by PNG alone. The others have had their claims denied, or are awaiting a decision.

News that detainees would be taken out of the centre has fuelled fears for their safety due to tensions between locals and asylum seekers.

The men who have been found to be refugees have the option of living in Port Moresby or another urban centre while they wait to see if they will be resettled in the United States. "The refugees don't want to live in PNG". The government had said shots were fired in the air, not into the centre.

An Amnesty International report on the incident, released on Monday, verified two dozen images and videos from the rampage and concluded "with a high degree of certainty" that soldiers had opened fire on the facility.

But the immigration official told detainees they should see the centre's closure as a good thing.

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