Government pressures Manus asylum seekers to return home while pressuring to allow attackers back in

In the wake of the killing of Reza Barati and the attacks on Manus Island asylum seekers, shamefully, the Australian government is pressuring asylum seekers to return home.

The Australian government has recklessly allowed Dr Jamal Rifi, a Lebanese representative of the Immigration Minister’s Council on Asylum Seekers and Detention into the Manus detention centre to speak to the 46 Lebanese asylum seekers.

Rifi told the asylum seekers that they should go home; that ‘you will never be settled in Australia, or Port Moresby. If you are a refugee, you will be settled in Manus Island.’

It is the second time that Rifi has been to Manus doing the Australian government’s bidding.

Rifi and Sheikh Malek Zeidan, the Australian representative of the Mufti of Lebanon also went to Nauru in early January. But there is no sign of their message having any effect; something that indicates the seriousness of the refugee claims.

The Immigration Department is also pressuring asylum seekers to allow those responsible for the attack back into the compounds. The move comes even though the Manus Island police chief has admitted that the killers of Reza Berati are still working on the island.

Two days ago G4S and Wilson Security met with representatives of at least two compounds about bringing PNG staff back into the compounds. The proposal was rejected by the asylum seekers.

Meanwhile there is no water for the detention centre toilets.

“The Manus Island asylum seekers need support and security, not threats,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “They need legal support and they need to be brought to Australia. Scott Morrison cannot guarantee their safety on Manus Island.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713

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