Standoff as Manus Island Refugees Block Police From Entering Compound

StoryfulNewsPublished: August 3, 2017Updated: August 4, 2017
Published: August 3, 2017Updated: August 4, 2017

Protests inside the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre escalated on August 4 when refugees blocked police from entering the Foxtrot compound. Papua New Guinea (PNG) police had earlier shut the gates barring refugees from leaving Foxtrot compound, according to activists from the Refugee Action Collective. The standoff follows protests after the authorities cut off the water and power supply to the compound. A resident of Foxtrot Compound told Storyful they were able to jury rig a power connection by tapping into the supply from the neighboring Mike compound. Refugees said that the PNG police, with the assistance of PNG immigration and Wilson Security, tried to enter the Foxtrot block to turn off the utilities again. At time of writing, the refugees and PNG authorities and security were standing off at the the gate connecting Foxtrot and Mike. Refugees identified the man seen in the video above wearing a yellow shirt as being from PNG Immigration. PNG officials had earlier announced that the Foxtrot compound would be demolished and refugees needed to move to Mike, Oscar, Delta blocks or to new accommodation at East Lorengau. The refugees detained on Manus Island are being faced with moving to a new transit centre, settling on Manus, or returning home after Australian and the PNG government agreed to the closure of the processing facility earlier this year. The facility’s compounds are due to be demolished and the centre closed by end of October. The United States had agreed to take at least 1,250 refugees currently detained on Manus and Nauru but comments from US President Donald Trump to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have cast uncertainty over the Obama-era deal. Refugees on Manus have voiced fears for their safety following violent robberies and attacks on several refugees who have moved to the East Lorengau transit centre. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Australia have not responded to requests for more information. Credit: Anonymous via Storyful

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