United States deal a lie, choose NZ - Manus refugee

United States deal a lie, choose NZ - Manus refugee

United States deal a lie, choose NZ - Manus refugee

"We are concerned by events in the past week at Australia's offshore Regional Processing Centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea where refugees and asylum seekers are holding out after the Australian Government's decision to close the facility and pull out its support staff", Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a news conference in Geneva on Friday. They include Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, Afghans, Iranians, Sri Lankans and other nationalities, and are nearly entirely men. Doesn't change that what Australia has done to these men on Manus is appalling, ' Crowe said.

Labour leader Bill Shorten has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to consider New Zealand's offer to take 150 refugees from the camps on Manus and Nauru.

In his retirement, the Grand Chief says he is at liberty today to speak about the miserable manner in which Australia is trying to offload the Manus Island Refugees.

Since 2013, Canberra has locked up all asylum seekers who try to reach its shores by boat in camps in the South Pacific.

"We of course do not have the circumstances that Australia is operating under, but we also can not ignore the human face of what Australia is dealing with", she said.

Around 500 of the men have still not had their asylum claims processed, he said.

The alternative accommodation being proposed is not finished or adequate to meet their needs, including security, he said.

Food, electricity and running water were cut off at the detention centre after it officially closed on Tuesday.

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"We have an arrangement with the United States where a substantial number - 1250 - can, subject to the USA rigours vetting, be resettled in the United States", he said.

The last food distribution was on Sunday, he said.

The Grand Chief said it is with sadness that he watched two countries play football with the lives of refugees on Manus Island. "They are starving and their bodies are getting weak".

"While [Australia] is not accepting refugees from Manus they have no right to reject New Zealand's offer".

The issue re-emerged when the conservative Australian Prime Minister met his centre-left New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern for the first time yesterday in Sydney. "You can't keep political hostages".

New Zealand citizens are typically allowed to work and live in Australia, a pathway that Australia fears could be used by the refugees to move to Australia.

Australia entered into an agreement during Barack Obama's administration for about 1,200 of those detained to be resettled in the U.S.

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