Tag Archive: manus island


Australia blamed refugee advocates on Tuesday for “encouraging” asylum seekers held in remote camps towards acts of self-harm after a woman set herself on fire, while the United Nations renewed its criticism of Australia’s harsh immigration policy.

Australian officials said an unidentified 21-year-old Somali woman was in a critical condition after she set herself alight at an Australian detention camp on the tiny South Pacific island of Nauru on Monday, the second such incident in a week.

A 23-year-old Iranian man also set himself on fire last week in protest against his treatment on Nauru and later died. The Somali woman has been transferred to Australia for treatment, officials said.

Under Australia’s hardline immigration policy, asylum seekers intercepted trying to reach Australia after paying people smugglers are sent for processing to camps on Nauru, which holds about 500 people, and on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. They are told they will never be settled in Australia.

The Papua New Guinea government ordered the Manus Island camp, which holds about 850 people, closed last week after its Supreme Court ruled the facility unlawful.

The harsh conditions and reports of systemic child abuse at the camps have drawn wide criticism inside and outside Australia and have become a major headache for Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during campaigning for likely July elections.

Australia however has vowed there will be no change to the policy, which has been pursued by successive governments.

On Tuesday, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton acknowledged there had been a rise in cases of self-harm in the camps but accused refugee advocates of giving the asylum seekers false hope they would one day be settled in Australia.

Source: Australia blames refugee advocates after asylum seeker sets herself alight | Reuters

Spain’s Ferrovial said it won’t offer in future the service of running Australia’s controversial offshore detention centers for refugees and asylum seekers, after buying a controlling stake in the Australian firm that operates the centers.

Australia’s detention of refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention centers in Papua New Guinea and Nauru has previously drawn criticism from the United Nations. In a statement on Friday, Ferrovial said the company had completed a buyout of 59 percent of shares in Australia-listed Broadspectrum.

On Wednesday, Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled that a detention center in Manus Island housing more than 800 Australia-bound refugees was unlawful and the country’s government said it would shut the camp. Broadspectrum runs the facility.

“In relation to the provision of services at the regional processing centers in Nauru and Manus province, these services were not a core part of the valuation and the acquisition rationale of the offer, and it is not a strategic activity in Ferrovial’s portfolio,” the company said in a statement. “Ferrovial’s view is that this activity will not form part of its services offering in the future”.

Source: Ferrovial says won’t run Australia offshore detention centers in future | Reuters

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