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Robbed, Stabbed, Bashed: Refugees Living In Fear On Manus

A Human Rights Watch report has detailed claims refugees have been robbed and stabbed on Manus Island.

26/10/2017 12:53 AM AEDT | Updated 26/10/2017 12:53 AM AEDT

A trip to the supermarket can be an exercise in dicing with death on Manus Island, according to a new report.

An Iranian asylum seeker claims to have been attacked by local men who left him unconscious after fracturing his skull with a metal rod as they robbed him of his mobile phone and money.

He was flown to Brisbane for treatment.

The incident is highlighted in a report by Human Rights Watch, which interviewed 40 refugees and asylum seekers who live at the Manus Island immigration detention centre or in the community.

The detention centre is slated for closure on Tuesday and more than 600 people are refusing to leave over safety fears.

The report claims young intoxicated local men have been robbing and attacking refugees and asylum seekers using sticks, machetes, rocks, knives and screwdrivers.

A Bangladeshi asylum seeker claimed a man put a knife to his throat when he went to the nearby Lorengau township to buy a chicken.

He required medical evacuation to Port Moresby.

A Rohingya refugee from Burma told the rights group he was too scared to leave the detention centre compound.

"The locals have no understanding of people from other countries," he said.

"We are walking around in nice clean clothes with mobile phones. The locals don't know what it means to be a refugee. They only know we are prisoners. They were told we are bad people."

The report says refugees have stopped informing police because incidents are not investigated or they are arrested for "disturbing local people".

The Australian government insists arrangements are in place to accommodate all refugees and asylum seekers at nearby Lorengau after Tuesday.

Services including mental health services will continue to be provided at the alternative accommodation.

The immigration department has previously insisted any allegations of refugees and asylum seekers being victims of crime on Manus Island are a matter for the PNG police and government.

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