Asylum seekers protest

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Asylum seekers at the regional processing center in Manus have been staging a protest since Tuesday after water and power to the centre were cut off.
Kurdish Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani told The National yesterday that the protest would continue until water and power were restored to the center.  He said the asylum seekers numbering about 800 had been  without power and water for over five days.
“They cut the power and water in Foxtrot the largest compound in the Manus detention (center) to force us to go to the transit centre (in Lorengau),” Boochani said.
Boochani said he respected the people of PNG but said it was not the intention of the asylum seekers to come to PNG.
“We are asking help from PNG people to put pressure on the new government to solve this problem,” he said.
He said police were monitoring the situation but claimed their protest was peaceful and they were not going to break the law.
“I’m sure that the Manus people support our peaceful protest,” he said.
“We know that the Manus people would not agree with this cruelty policy.
“I think the PNG government should care about the Manus people.
“This island is with a small population and a traditional culture and Australia must respect their culture. We did not come to Manus by our will and Australia dropped us here without any protection.”
The asylum seekers marched around the compound on Tuesday chanting and calling on the authorities to restore water and power supply to the center.
The Australian government earlier this year announced that the center would shut down in October  and urged the remaining asylum seekers to relocate to a temporary transit centre in Lorengau.

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