Asylum seekers moved out of centre

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Immigration and Border Security Minister Petrus Thomas says the remaining 387 refugees and non-refugees at the decommissioned Manus Regional Processing Centre have all moved to the new facilities with the assistance of immigration officers and police on Friday.
“I thank the refugees and non-refugees for moving in the best interest of their health and wellbeing,” he said.
“Immigration will work with the service providers at the new facilities to ensure that the basic needs and concerns of these people are catered for.”
Thomas said the decommissioned centre was no longer a place of immigration detention and that the new accommodation facilities had been gazetted as relocation centres for refugees and place of immigration detention effective as of Nov 1.
Refugees and non-refugees have also been directed to reside at the new relocation centres and place of immigration detention by way of gazette notice.
Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha has been tasked as the new facilities’ administrator.
“Immigration no longer has authority to keep any asylum seeker at the decommissioned centre and the place has reverted to the PNG Defence Force as a military base,” he said.
“Immigration and service providers no longer have any authority to restore any services and to operate at Lombrum naval base.
Thomas said: “I welcome the presence and expression of providing assistance to PNG from international organisations and non-governmental organisations on the ground in Manus and request that they work alongside relevant PNG government agencies and departments to provide any form of support and not directly engaging with refugees and non-refugees as that is the role of contracted service providers such as International Health Medical Services.”
Thomas denied reports that authorities had used force in removing the refugees and asylum seekers.