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Manus debacle is a worsening human catastrophe

Nick McKim
Senator Nick McKim

SENATOR NICK McKIM

LORENGAU - This week I’ve travelled back to Manus Island. It’s the third time I’ve visited this year, and the third time I’ve walked right into a humanitarian catastrophe.

The asylum seekers and refugees I’ve met here have been stranded for 1,700 days, enduring unimaginable deprivations and had their freedoms and rights trampled.

Some have paid with their lives, others with their sanity.

Yesterday, Peter Dutton has cut off their drinking water, electricity and food, leaving over 600 innocent people caught between Papua New Guinean Navy personnel.

This is the same body that attacked them with machine guns and shotguns on Good Friday this year.

Many of the local Manus people also do not want them in their community.

The reason these men are refusing to leave the detention centre, despite having no access to water in the soaring heat, is the very real threat of violence facing them if they do. The situation here is becoming more combustible every minute.

This catastrophe began when the Labor government opening the Manus Island camp back in 2012, and it has cruelly continued under the current Turnbull-Dutton leadership.

This disaster is on their heads.

The refugees are all justifiably scared for their safety. They need to be brought to safety. Now.

The world is watching what the Australian government is doing on Manus Island. The time for Dutton and Turnbull to act is now. They must bring them here.

There is no solution for the nightmare that our government has created except to end these people’s suffering and bring them to Australia immediately.

Staff have already abandoned the centre, which means the time for action is now.

Senator Nick McKim is the Greens spokesperson for refugees

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