News World Refugees urged to move on as Manus Island demolition begins

Refugees urged to move on as Manus Island demolition begins

Manus Island detention centre
Immigration officials have warned refugees against refusing to move. Photo: Refugee Action Coalition
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Refugees on Manus Island say they are stressed and worried now the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments have begun demolishing accommodation in the detention centre.

“Charlie” compound, which housed 10 men, has been taken down.

The 700 refugees in the detention centre have been told to move into a new “transit” centre closer to the main town, but they fear they will not be safe there.

Pakistani refugee Naeem Udin, who was in Charlie compound, said he had moved to another compound in the detention centre instead.

“We feeling very powerless and very stressed,” he said.

“It is a stressful situation, we are very worried about accommodation.”

Manus Island's Charlie compound before and after demolition
Charlie compound housed 10 men, and another compound is expected to close soon. Photo: Refugee Action Coalition

Mr Udin said the camp’s management were also reducing services.

“People are not allowed to take water, they are decreasing the water supply and they are making hard rules day by day,” he said.

The Australian and PNG governments had told the refugees another compound, Foxtrot, would be closed by the end of June, and it is expected to close soon.

Immigration officials also warned refugees that if they continue to refuse to move, it could affect their applications to resettle in the United States.

While a number of men have been interviewed for US resettlement, the US State Department said no decisions had been made about who would be resettled.

The United States also reached its new refugee intake cap and could deny entry to new refugees until the cap resets in October.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said on July 19 that the Manus Island centre will close by the end of October, even if the refugees cannot go to the US until the start of that month.