Despite being very reluctant to move away from their friends into new compounds, refugees on Manus Island today have done so calmly and with only minor incidents.
A few things were done which seemed to be aimed at heightening tension such as extra police patrolling the perimeter of the centre.
Power to some areas was also not working, which given the heat of the area, would have been a huge problem while people were moving belongings and bedding (inc mattresses).
At least one man initially refused to move a man from the same room says that the police entered the room and said if he didn’t moved he would be beaten up.
” I have to tell you about our situation. Everything has done peacefully. Despite the fact that the inmates are very depressed about leaving their comfort zone, they have persevered with this appalling condition. It’s excruciatingly hot today and it made the pain more stronger to move into another compound. Some of the inmates were telling appreciating the security guards and Trans field staff for destroying our homes and families. That’s what we have got from Australia and PNG after 3 years. The good thing is everyone of us is very calm and peace. We have protected our dignity and integrity. I hope everything will be settled down in next two days…..”
A source from inside the centre reports that 10 men are being forced to sleep in a classroom because they have no where to sleep.
One of the reasons for the move seemed to be to convince those given refugee status to move to the East Lorengau Transit Centre.
Behrouz Boochani wrote this yesterday.
Today 5 people left the center into East Lorengau. They signed 6 papers this morning. Signing these papers affirms Australia’s unlawful position that Australia does not have responsibility for them. They will stay at the transit centre and after a while they will sign another 8 papers and by signing these they can leave Manus island to other PNG cities.
Four people that were in Port Moresby came back to Manus a few days ago. They have lost their mobiles and one of them had sold his computer to get money for buying a ticket back to Manus. They were homeless and hungry in Port Moresby and Lae city. When these people wanted to enter the center on East Lorengaue they could not because they had signed papers. They were locked out and were homeless for a few days and now are in a small hotel on the island. Their situation is very bad and really they need emergency assistance.Immigration policy is like a horror tunel with a lot of steps and stations. If you stay in the center you must endure much traumatising pressure and live in a hell prison. If you leave the centre you must live in East Lorengaue with no safety and a deep feeling of insecurity and loneliness. If you leave the island you must live as a homeless person and endure hungriness and live like a poor man. I believe the main aim is that the pressure they put people under will force them to go back to their country of origin.
It’s no wonder they don’t want to move check out the Australian Governments Guide to Working and Live on Manus Island:
Staff should exercise a high degree of caution in Papua New Guinea because of the high levels of serious crime. Crime rates are high, particularly in the capital Port Moresby and in Lae, Mt Hagen and other parts of the Highland provinces. You should not leave the Port Moresby Jackson Airport for any reason without first contacting DIAC on Manus Island (other than to go to your hotel if staying overnight). It is not safe to walk around Port Moresby, or to catch a taxi. If you are staying overnight in Port Moresby, you should only get the official hotel transfer shuttle to the hotel and you should not leave the hotel grounds other than to get your transfer back to the airport for your flight to Manus Island. While Manus Island is generally a much safer place than Port Moresby, staff must always be with at least one other person when going outside the base and staff are not permitted off the naval base at night. https://www.google.com.au/url…