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Australians protest against unfolding 'emergency' in offshore detention camp

Saturday, November 04, 2017 - 01:41

More than 1,000 people protested in Australia on Saturday (November 4) against the treatment of hundreds of asylum seekers in the Manus Island offshore detention centre. Pascale Davies reports.

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Over 1,000 protesters in Australia standing in solidarity with the asylum seekers of Manus Island - the offshore detention centre in Papua New Guinea which the United Nations has said is an unfolding humanitarian emergency. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REFUGEE ADVOCATE NICOLE JUDGE, SAYING: "I think a lot of people have heard about this situation on Manus Island and they've had enough of it. I think before a lot of people were complacent, but once they heard that the refugees were essentially getting starved out, they decided to come out and do something about it. So I think it's pretty good." On the island, refugees and asylum seekers show their gratitude to the protesters, as well as demanding their safety. Video obtained by Reuters shows refugees digging wells to collect rainwater to drink. That after food, running, water and medical supplies were cut off by Australia four days ago. Around 600 men have barricaded themselves inside the camp, in defiance of Australia and Papua New Guinea's plans to shut it. Australian authorities want the men moved to a transit centre elsewhere on the island But refugees fear they will be resettled in PNG or another developing nation. The relocation of the men is designed as a temporary measure, allowing the United States time to complete vetting of asylum seekers as part of a refugee swap deal, under which Australia will accept refugees from Central America.

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Australians protest against unfolding 'emergency' in offshore detention camp

Saturday, November 04, 2017 - 01:41