As many as 421 refugees and asylum seekers in a detention centre in Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island have been warned that they will be forcibly evicted if they do not leave on Monday, Reuters reported.
“We will be taking steps with relevant authorities to move the residents based on serious exposure to health risk for the good of everyone that is remaining,” Immigration Minister Petrus Thomas said.
Australia used to hold asylum seekers trying to reach the country by boat at the Manus Island detention centre and in the small Pacific nation of Nauru. The Papua New Guinea centre was closed down on October 31 after a court said the Australian government’s policy was unconstitutional.
However, refugees are refusing to move to Lorengau province in Papua New Guinea as they feel unsafe and fear reprisals, The Guardian reported. The houses where they are expected to stay are uninhabitable, according to independent observers.
The men in the Manus Island camp are without electricity, running water, food and medicine for the past 13 days. Last month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had said the condition at the Manus Island detention centre was a “humanitarian emergency”.