Show some compassion, treat refugees as humans: Fr Victor

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A CHURCH leader has called on the Government to ensure that the asylum seekers at the Lombrum centre in Manus are treated as human beings and help them.
Father Victor Roche, pictured, the general secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands who recently visited Manus, said the 420 men refusing to move out of the centre had no water to drink and were surviving with little food.
He said although they were asylum seekers, they were human beings too and it was the country’s duty as a Christian nation to help them.
“They do not want to move from Lombrum to the other facilities because they are afraid that if they move, they may have to stay in that facility for another four years,” he said.
“These are men separated from their families and want to see their wives and children.
“They do not want to be kept in another centre for another four years.”
Roche called on the government to give them food, water and electricity as a short-term help and talk to New Zealand who is willing to resettle some.
Roche called on the people of Australia to raise their voices and help the voiceless refugees to find a safe home.
Roche visited the Lombrum centre and the West Lorengau centre from Nov 19 to 21 after receiving approval from authorities.
He was, however, not allowed to visit the closed East Lorengau centre.