TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -Some 600 asylum seekers have barricaded themselves into the Manus Island facility for more than a week after the High Court ordered the facility to be closed by October 31. However, the camp’s residents have refused to leave, saying they fear attacks from the island’s residents if they are moved to other detention centers.
The camp, open since 2001, has seen its supplies of food, water and power dwindle in recent days. Security personnel have withdrawn from the site, while the Royal Australian Navy has reportedly taken up position at the rear of the island to prevent any locals from delivering supplies.
“The men really need food and water. They are severely dehydrated and a number of them have pretty serious health problems, such as heart issues,” Elaine Pearson, director of Human Rights Watch told Reuters.
An application was submitted to the PNG Supreme Court to order the restoration of basic services to the camp, and a hearing is set for Tuesday. Australia blocks asylum-seekers trying to enter the country illegally by boat, and instead authorities take intercepted migrants to camps on Manus Island or the Pacific island of Nauru.