Chaos on Manus

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday 19th of February, 2014


AN asylum seeker is dead and three others seriously injured following a fight at the Manus regional processing centre on Sunday and Monday nights, authorities have confirmed.
And Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has warned that anyone breaking the country’s laws will be dealt with by Papua New Guinea authorities.
“I want to state clearly here that any instances of criminality and breach of PNG law will be dealt with by the proper lawful authorities,” he said in a statement.
“The Government will not tolerate anyone breaking the laws of Papua New Guinea.”
He said preliminary investigations suggested that less than 50 per cent of the 1,400 transferees at the centre were involved in the disturbances.
The dead man was originally from Iran.
Gun shots were heard but Police Minister Nixon Duban yesterday denied that police officers fired the shots. He said police officers were stationed outside the fence while G4S security guards were based inside.
Lorengau General Hospital chief executive officer Dr Otto Numan said the body of a man from the centre was in the morgue and three people were treated for serious injuries.
“The man died of head injuries,” Numan said.

“Two other asylum seekers of Iranian origin sustained injuries. One had a bullet wound on his right buttock and another had bruises on his face, including a wounding of one of his eyes.
“A G4S security officer is recovering at the hospital from injuries he sustained from the incident.
“They were brought here between 3am and 4am today (yesterday) but were later taken by authorities to seek treatment at another facility.”
A  source on Manus said gun shots were heard between 8pm and 10pm on Monday.
“The incident involved police, G4S Security and the detainees at the centre,” the source claimed.
He said following the incident, the entrance to the centre was cordoned off to members of the public.
Workers at the centre were instructed to switch off their mobile phones.
Police operations chief Simon Kauba yesterday said he was awaiting a briefing from officers on Manus.
“I have instructed PPC Manus to collect information and report to me,” Kauba said.
Papua New Guinea Defence Force Chief of Staff Capt (Navy) Alois Tom Ur said defence intelligence officers were on Manus to assess the situation.
Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin, who was scheduled to leave for Port Moresby yesterday, visited the centre with the provincial administrator.