Probe calls after refugee dies at Australia camp in PNG

Australia sends anyone who tries to enter by boat without a visa to remote processing facilities in Nauru and on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island. Even those subsequently found to be genuine refugees are barred from settling in Australia.

Probe calls after refugee dies at Australia camp in PNG

World Bulletin / News Desk

Rights groups called Monday for an independent inquiry after another refugee was found dead at a detention camp in Papua New Guinea in a tragedy they said was preventable.

The Refugee Action Coalition said the Iranian man was found hanging from a tree, although this was not confirmed and it is unclear whether it was suicide.

"This death is yet another bleak tragedy to arise out of the ongoing suffering and tensions on Manus Island," Amnesty International Australia said.

"There must be an independent, impartial, prompt and effective investigation into his death."

The Human Rights Law Centre said the man was the fifth held on Manus to die since Canberra's offshore regime began in July 2013.

"This man deserved to be treated with basic decency and respect. He deserved a chance to rebuild his life in freedom and safety," said Daniel Webb, director of legal advocacy at the law centre.

"Instead, our government chose to be cruel, imprisoning him indefinitely on a remote island in truly awful conditions."

Conditions in the camp, and the other one on Nauru in the Pacific, have been widely criticised by refugee advocates and medical professionals, with reports of widespread abuse, self-harm and mental health problems.

A PNG court ruled last year that holding people on Manus was unconstitutional, and Canberra is set to shut the camp in October.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull struck a deal with the Barack Obama administration for the US to resettle hundreds of those being held, although Donald Trump has not appeared keen to honour the pact.

Australia's immigration department said it was aware of the death.

"PNG authorities are investigating the matter," a spokesperson said, without providing further details.

The law centre said tensions were high on Manus as Canberra attempts to close the camp's biggest compound and force those living there to move into a transit area.

Hundreds are resisting, it said, for fear of violence from locals and lack of support services at the centre, with reports of attacks on refugees in the community.

"They are being forced out of the regional processing centre with nowhere safe to go," said Natasha Blucher from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

"They are afraid of being attacked or being left in limbo forever in a place they are not welcome."

Around 800 men are held on Manus, according to Australian immigration data from May 31. Families are detained in Nauru.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ağustos 2017, 10:09