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Refugees plan to stay at processing centre, detainee says

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By CHARLES MOI
REFUGEES plan to continue staying at the Manus regional processing centre even if it is closed tomorrow, a detainee says.
Kurdish Iran journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is among about 700 men remaining at the centre, told The National yesterday that they did not come to Manus on their own will.
Boochani said the Australian government forcibly put them on Manus Island.
He said the Australian government were now pushing them to live in the small community in Lorengau where locals were unlikely to welcome them.
“Both the local people and refugees are victims of this (Australian government) policy. And definitely if the Australian government keeps pushing (the asylum seekers), there will be some kind of violence,” Boochani said.
“It’s clear that Australia is violating human rights.”
He said officials at the centre were still providing food to the asylum seekers but they had advised that food, electricity and water would be disconnected tomorrow.
“The pressure is too much on Manus,” Behrouz said.
“The police and soldiers are walking around the centre.”
Broadspectrum, the company contracted by the Australian government to run its facility, will cease its operations tomorrow.
The PNG Supreme Court on April 26 last year ruled that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus was unconstitutional and illegal.
It advised the Australian and PNG governments to take necessary steps to cease and prevent the continued unconstitutional and illegal detention of the asylum seekers on Manus. Tomorrow is the deadline for its closure.

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