Refugee at Australian camp on Papua New Guinea dies

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 10, 2017

An asylum seeker living in an Australian detention center on Manus Island Papua New Guinea has been found dead.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a press release that the planned closure of the Centre, along with the announced withdrawal of current medical care, torture and trauma support and security services by October 2017, is exacerbating a highly stressful situation for the 773 people who remain on Manus Island.

Australian immigration authorities said the Papua New Guinean authorities are investigating the death which they believe to be a suicide. It did not, however, offer further details about the case.

It further emphasized, "Many fear for their safety outside the center, particularly in the wake of several violent incidents in recent years".

Rights groups said the Iranian was the fifth held on Manus to die since Canberra's offshore detention regime began in July 2013.

Canberra sends anyone who tries to enter the country by boat without a visa to its remote processing facilities in Nauru and on Manus Island, with no hope of being settled in Australia.

This is while a PNG court ruled previous year that holding people on Manus was unconstitutional, and the camp should be shut down by next October amid rising tensions.

About 800 men are held on Manus and the United Nations says they have been told to relocate elsewhere in Papua New Guinea or return to their country of origin.

Conditions in the camp, and the other one on Nauru, have been criticized by refugee advocates and medical professionals, with reports of widespread abuse, self-harm and mental health problems.

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