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    An asylum seeker is pictured with his lips sewn together in this handout picture provided by the refugee action coalition, taken inside the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea January 13, 2015.

    Migrant Swallows Razor Blades in Protest at Australia’s Detention Center

    © REUTERS / Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters
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    An asylum seeker swallowed three razor blades in protest at the length of his detention in Australia-run Manus Island detention center.

    MOSCOW, January 15 (Sputnik)An asylum seeker at the Australia-run Manus Island detention center for undocumented immigrants swallowed three razor blades in protest at the length of his detention, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported Thursday.

    The 39-year-old Egyptian Christian, who fled his country due to religious persecution, is currently undergoing medical treatment, according to the broadcaster.

    Meanwhile, 15 more detainees at the Manus Island center sewed their lips together and about 400 went on hunger strike yesterday for the same reasons, the ABC reported.

    The Manus Island Regional Processing Center, used for detaining undocumented immigrants, is located in Papua New Guinea (PNG), but is operated by a private company on behalf of the Australian government. At present, more than 1,000 migrants live in the detention center, according to the broadcaster.

    The immigrants want the Australian government to provide them with refugee status in Australia or hand their cases over to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They are afraid of being forcibly resettled in the local community in PNG as the local population is hostile toward immigrants. Additionally, the migrants want the authorities to repair broken water pumps at the center, according to the earlier media reports.

    A previous hunger strike at the Manus Island detention center dissolved into a riot in February 2014, which resulted in the death of one man, who was allegedly attacked by a local warden, a further 70 people received injuries.

    Over 20,000 asylum seekers arrived in Australia by boat in 2013, according to the Refugee Council of Australia. Most of the asylum seekers originating from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka traveled to Australia via Indonesia.

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