More than 700 asylum seekers detained on Manus Island have been offered a transfer to Nauru amid suicides in the camp and escalating violence in surrounding communities, refugee advocates say.
A note reportedly appeared in the processing centre on Tuesday night inviting refugees in the US resettlement process to volunteer for a transfer to Nauru.
Immigration just put up a notice saying refugees in the US resettlement process can now apply for transfer to Nauru. It's very strange.Manus— Behrouz Boochani (@BehrouzBoochani) October 10, 2017
Sending refugees from Manus prison camp to Nauru is unacceptable. How can the gov want to send people from hell to another hell after 4yrs?— Behrouz Boochani (@BehrouzBoochani) October 10, 2017
The Nauru government will then decide which refugees it will transfer, the note says according to photos circulated on social media.
The offer comes a week after a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee took his own life on Manus, the sixth fatality in four years.
An Iranian refugee died in August before he was due to move from detention into the Papua New Guinean community of Lorengau.
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre released a statement on Tuesday criticising the Australian government for having no plan as the deadline for closing Manus at the end of this month approaches.
This is simply obscene.— ASRC (@ASRC1) October 10, 2017
Men who have languished for 4 years without freedom on #Manus now being offered to be sent to #Nauru to languish again because Turnbull Gov knows they're in danger on #Manus.
Where is the leadership and basic human decency for these human beings?
The men on Manus were due to transfer to Lorengau after the closure but the ASRC says the community has been the site of violence for asylum seekers.
The Australian government has been contacted for comment.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.