POLICE AND LOCALS RUN AMOK ON MANUS ISLAND

Media Release from Mark Gillespie Refugee Action Collective

MEDIA RELEASE

POLICE AND LOCALS RUN AMOK ON MANUS ISLAND: SCORES INJURED; FEARS FOR
THE LIVES OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

Scores of asylum seekers have been injured, some seriously as gangs of
armed PNG police and locals go from compound to compound attacking any
asylum seekers they can find.

Asylum seekers were left defenceless when all staff and G4S guards
were evacuated from the detention centre. Tension with groups of
locals had been building throughout the day. G4S had already withdrawn
from Mike compound late Monday afternoon.

The attacks started late Monday night after the power was cut to the
detention centre. PNG police and locals then had the run of the
detention centre.

Locals are armed with machetes, pipes, sticks and stones – have bashed
and cut asylum seekers. One asylum seeker has been thrown from the
second floor of a building; others have suffered machete cuts. There
is one report that a man has been left with his eye hanging from its
socket after a bashing.

Asylum seekers fled from their compounds into the dark in a desperate
attempt to flee from their attackers. A call from Mustafa in Mike
compound around 11pm said that there were only five or six people left
in his compound and they were now fleeing to try and find safety.
People had fled all the other compounds. Mustafa said that he was
covered in his own blood from cuts to the head, hand and arms. He
estimated at least 50 people in Mike compound alone had been injured.

One of the last of the staff to be taken out of the detention centre
around midnight Monday night said it will be a miracle if no-one is
killed.

Gunshots can be heard in the background of calls coming from the
detention centre.

“The blood spilled inside the Manus detention centre is on the
Immigration Minister’s hands. Manus Island has always been a disaster
waiting to happen,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee
Action Coalition.

“Scott Morrison deliberately played down the seriousness of the
situation and the danger that asylum seekers faced. It seems clear now
that the injured asylum seekers were deliberately treated inside the
detention centre to hide the scale and seriousness of the injuries
suffered on Sunday night.

“It must be clear now that asylum seekers cannot live safely on Manus
Island. They should never have been taken there. Asylum seekers must
be brought to Australia.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713


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