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Manus Island: Australian opposition flips, urges govt to accept NZ's offer

06 November 2017

Food and drinking water has run out and the group is too scared to move to alternative accommodation in the main township out of fear they will be attacked by locals.

Numerous protesters carried signs decrying Australia's inhumane treatment of refugees, and accusing the government of crimes against humanity - a sentiment that was echoed by Greens MP Adam Bandt, who told the crowd that Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was "a terrorist".

Meanwhile, the situation on the remote Manus island in Papua New Guinea, or PNG, is growing more serious with around 600 refugees barricading themselves inside the camp, defying efforts by Australia and PNG to shut it. Food, running water and medical services were cut off by Australia five days ago.

Australia has an obligation to do so under worldwide human rights law and the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, he said.

"We call on the Australian government. who interned the men in the first place to immediately provide protection, food, water and other basic services", United Nations rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing on Friday. Its government has said the camp had been ruled illegal by PNG authorities and it had committed to supply other sites for 12 months.

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The protest, organised by the Refugee Action Collective of Victoria against the treatment of the refugees, was held outside Victoria's' State Library in Swanson Street followed by a march through to Flinders Street.

Noting that all migrants, including refugees and asylum-seekers have a right to a safe and secure environment, a right to an adequate standard of living and to participate in the decision-making process that is affecting their future, Colville said: "Human dignity should be ensured throughout the entire processing of their asylum claims".

The last food distribution was on Sunday, he said.

"At the moment hundreds of naked men are lying around me", wrote Boochani.

"That is an offer that does remain on the table, so whilst it has not been taken up immediately, the prime minister thanked New Zealand for the offer, acknowledged it and it is something that still remains in place", she said.

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Top of Jacinda Ardern's agenda will be the offer to take 150 desperate Middle Eastern refugees from Manus Island.

New Zealand residents are allowed to live in Australia without visas.

"Australia blocking but has no right to say no", he wrote on Twitter.

Australia entered into an agreement during Barack Obama's administration for about 1,200 of those detained to be resettled in the U.S.

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Manus Island: Australian opposition flips, urges govt to accept NZ's offer