POLITICS

Claims PNG Police Are Deporting Manus Island Asylum Seekers

Two Nepalese men detained by police, refugee claims.

09/02/2017 11:39 AM AEDT | Updated 09/02/2017 11:55 AM AEDT

Police in Papua New Guinea are beginning to deport asylum seekers from the Manus Island detention facility, fellow refugees claim.

Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian detainee in the Australian-run facility on Manus, told The Huffington Post that PNG police arrived at one of the compounds at 4am on Thursday, waking up two men from Nepal.

"They took one of them while he was crying and the other one escaped and is now lost," Boochani said.

"There were about 10 police officers. We don't know where they are now."

HuffPost Australia has contacted Ben Lomai, a lawyer representing the Manus asylum seekers in legal cases disputing their detention, for more comment. Lomai told the ABC that police were planning to send the Nepalese men back to their home country.

"It's a concern that some of them, not all of them, but some of them or even a few of them may not have been assessed properly," he told the ABC.

In a tweet, Boochani said the men on Manus were "in shock" at the "unjust" decision.

The PNG government recently said it would begin the process to deport around 60 asylum seekers from Manus.

Greens senator Nick McKim slammed the decision to begin deporting the asylum seekers, and called on the federal government to act.

"Forcibly deporting them trashes their human rights, and places Australia and Papua New Guinea in flagrant breach of their international human rights obligations," he said in a statement.

"It is incumbent on the Australian government to ensure that the legal rights of all detainees are being protected, including all avenues of appeal. The government also needs to ensure that Papua New Guinea Police and private security guards do not continue to unnecessarily escalate tensions with their heavy-handed approach."

Comment has been sought from the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.



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