All Manus Island Detention Centre Men Moved After Second Raid

The remaining refugees and asylum seekers at the decommissioned Manus Island detention centre have been cleared, Papua New Guinea (PNG) authorities say.

328 men left at the centre were moved on to new facilities after police and immigration officials re-entered the site on Friday morning.

The development brought an end to the refugees’ longer than three-week long standoff inside the centre where they barricaded themselves until the centre’s official closure on October 31.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed the men at the decommissioned centre are now in new camps.

“The Australian government welcomes this development,” he said in a statement.

Papua New Guinea police and immigration officers stormed the centre on Friday morning, ordering refugees to leave while trashing their belongings and shelters.

Authorities also faced accusations of violence towards refugees after video emerged of asylum seekers being beaten with metal rods, but Mr Dutton disputed the claims.

“Advocates in Australia are again today making inaccurate and exaggerated claims of violence and injuries on Manus, but fail to produce any evidence to prove these allegations,” he said.

“What is clear is that there has been an organised attempt to provoke trouble and disrupt the new facilities.”

50 men were moved from the centre on Thursday in a similar operation.

PNG police commissioner Gari Baki said on Thursday night the day’s relocations were done “peacefully and without the use of force” while urging the men to move.

He added the current situation should be a “walk in the park” compared their past lives in their home countries.

“We are doing the best we can and the refugees cannot continue to be stubborn and defiant,” Mr Baki said.

“The fact is that we are not moving them into the jungle…they are being relocated to two centres where there is water, electricity, food and medical services.”

However, refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani said the new accommodation was a “real prison”, claiming violence and that he was handcuffed.

“I’ve just been released. They handcuffed me for more than two hours in a place behind the prison camp,” Mr Boochani wrote last night.

“The police commander yelled at me ‘you are reporting against us’. They pushed me several times and broke my belongings.”

He said this morning police had “attacked” the camp and were forcing the remaining men to new camps.

“The refugees are going to leave the prison camp. So many are in the buses and are on the way to the new camps,” he said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the developments on Manus Island is not undermining Australia’s international reputation.

“I do not believe so at all,” Ms Bishop said.

“Nations respect our stand on people smuggling and we are working very closely with countries including Indonesia to ensure that the people smuggling trade is not revived.”

The United Nations has called for calm yesterday, after receiving reports of force used to move asylum seekers to new accommodation.

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