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Immigration tries first forced removal from Manus Island

Media release from the Refugee Action Coalition

Immigration tries to intimidate first removals from Manus Island: injunctions sought

Late yesterday afternoon, Thursday 13 August, Immigration authorities used a show of force by PNG police as the first phase of attempting forced removals of rejected asylum seekers on Manus Island.

Up to six PNG police marched into Oscar Compound to remove a 27 year-old Iranian asylum seeker. The man was been placed in a newly built solitary confinement prison compound inside the detention centre, and been given a notice that PNG immigration
has completed a deportation risk assessment and found ‘there is no legal barrier to your removal …’

It is understood that the Iranian man was transferred to Port Moresby on Friday 14 August.

It is expected that up to 10 other “double-negative” asylum seekers could get similar treatment in coming days. The ‘failed’ asylum seekers have been told they can still access financial incentives with IOM if they voluntarily agree to return home.

Around two weeks ago, Immigration posted notices of “Departure Planning information” (refer photo).


Departure planning information

The very public use of the PNG police in Oscar is clearly an effort to intimidate asylum seekers into voluntarily signing to return to their home countries.

Papua New Guinea has no arrangements with Iran to accept forced removal of asylum seekers.

“There is no reason to believe that PNG is any more able to arrange forced removals to Iran, than Australia” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “The use of force is designed to coerce people into signing to return ‘voluntarily’.”

The action against the ‘double-negatives’ also comes on the eve of final directions hearings for Supreme Court challenge in Port Moresby, scheduled for Monday 17 August.

“The Immigration Department is trying to preempt the Supreme Court challenge“ said Rintoul, “We will seek injunctions in the Supreme Court to prevent any removals from Manus Island, before there is a final consideration of the Supreme Court constitutional challenge to the detention centre” said Rintoul.

“The Australian and PNG government have been abusing asylum seekers human rights since they were first moved to Manus Island. The Immigration Department would like nothing better that to remove some of the evidence by getting some of them to sign to return to their countries.”

“Immigration should halt any moves to forcibly remove asylum seekers from Manus Island. They have always been Australia’s responsibility. In the name of deterrence they have been the victims of the worst offshore mistreatment. They should all be brought to Australia.”


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  1. Terry2

    This shows a total failure of our immigration policy and the Minister responsible.

    We have effectively dumped these people in PNG (and Nauru) and bribed the respective governments to do our dirty work and it goes from bad to worse.

    What it also shows is a dismal failure of international law to guarantee justice for all and to bring a rogue state – Australia in this case I’m sad to say – to heel.

  2. Linda

    For this evil government who claim to be Chistians and regularly attend their churches, where is their humanity, and Christianity . The mad monk would know of one of the following Proverbs………

    There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
    —Proverbs 6:16–19.

    One can only hope that these thugs spend an eternity in hell.

  3. diannaart

    I guess Peter Dutton is making room for refugees from Western Australia.

  4. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Peter Dutton is the latest tool to attempt to legitimise the maltreatment of legitimate asylum seekers.

    Not good that decent and deserving people should be MADE to wait, but when the true resolution happens with combined decent minds, then they will prevail so that people who are experiencing disadvantage brought about by vulnerability should be prioritised.

    Vulnerable people should be supported.

    In my books, we accept ALL refugees. We scrutinise every migrant application, as we don’t need more people to fill this dried up old land that has not met the rights of the First Australians nor the vastly growing unemployed and under-employed.

    Enhance compassionate recognition of Refugee policies.
    Stop Economic Migrants.

    Tip to rabid Abbott and his sub-zero advisors, don’t try to confuse asylum seekers (refugees) with economic migrants. We know you’ll try but Aussies see your game.

    At the end of the day, Aussies are fair-minded people coz that’s what made modern Australia (apologies First Aussies). We all thought we had an even chance but you bastards changed the rules and reduced the opportunities.

    Nobody likes you. We will remember and if THEY don’t, I for one, will remind them. Got it?

  5. Pingback: Papua New Guinea has no arrangements with Iran to accept forced removal of asylum seekers. The Australian government supports it. | olddogthoughts

  6. paul walter

    Today (Monday) there is indeed an article in the paper about fifty Iranians either deported or locked up if they refuse, “forever”.

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