Boats Delivering Food to Manus Island Compound Stopped by Police, Refugees Say

  • 7 years ago
A boat delivering food to refugees and asylum seekers inside the Manus Island detention centre was stopped by Papua New Guinea police on November 3 amidst reports local villagers were being barred from entering the site.The Daily Telegraph reported local villagers have been providing support to the asylum seekers and refugees inside the naval base, much to the ire of Australian and PNG authorities.Dozens of locals found employment by providing food and services to the men living inside the compound, with many now being barred from entering the site. Services were cut at the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre after it officially closed on October 31; about 600 men inside the compound have refused to leave, citing safety concerns of living in new accommodation in the nearby settlement of Lorengau.Patrols from PNG police have ramped up since the centre’s closure, with advocates reporting a boat carrying $500 worth of food was stopped, its supplies confiscated and its local operators arrested. Refugees said the video shows one instance of vessels being intercepted by PNG authorities. A spokesperson from the Australian Immigration Department told the Telegraph they were not permitting non-residents from entering PNG-operate facilities, citing safety and privacy concerns.Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian refugee and journalist writing from the centre, told Storyful there was a serious concern about the food shortages.“We are in a critical situation, starvation is reality of Manus prison camp and hundreds people, their bodies getting weak,” Boochani said. “We rationed a little food on past week… there is not food here. Police and Navy have been ordered to prevent food into the prison camp, we no have access to food. It’s impossible in this situation that we have enough food for 600 men who have been deprived to have access to food.” Credit: Manus Alert via Storyful