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    The Amnesty International pressure group demanded on Monday that Australian and Papua New Guinean authorities respect the right of refugees held on the Manus Island to protest their living conditions.

    Amnesty Int'l Urges Australia to Respect Refugees Rights in Manus Camp

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    The human rights watchdog stresses that Australia and Papua New Guinea must ensure the health, welfare and safety of the migrants and respect their right to protest peacefully.

    Asylum seekers are pictured in this handout photo provided by the refugee action coalition, taken inside the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea January 13, 2015
    © REUTERS / Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters
    MOSCOW, January 19 (Sputnik) — The Amnesty International pressure group demanded on Monday that Australian and Papua New Guinean authorities respect the right of refugees held on the Manus Island to protest their living conditions.

    "The authorities must, as far as possible, ensure the health, welfare and safety of protesting detainees, and respect their right to protest peacefully, including through hunger strikes," Amnesty's Refugee Campaign Coordinator Graeme McGregor was quoted as saying in a statement on the organization's website.

    Asylum seekers, primarily from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, travel to the Australian islands by boat and are settled in offshore detention camps, such as the one on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island. There are currently more than 1,000 refugees at the Guinean center alone, according to the BBC.

    Over the past week, there have media reports of protests at the Manus Island center, with refugees locking staff out and going on hunger strikes over alleged plans of the Papua New Guinean government to resettle them to areas where the asylum seekers fear they will be attacked by locals.

    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.
    © REUTERS / Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters
    There have also been reports that people at the camp have not had running water and food for days, prompting some of them to resort to self-harm in an attempt to raise awareness.

    Amnesty International said it had visited the detention center and found that "some conditions in the center violate the UN Convention Against Torture". It also concluded that the facility is "designed to pressure asylum seekers to return regardless of whether they will face persecution in the countries from which they fled".

    To resolve the standoff, security guards in riot gear entered the camp by force overnight, manhandling refugees and taking away the alleged ringleaders, according to the Guardian Australia. In a similar incident in February 2014, a 24-year-old female refugee was killed and about 70 protesters injured.

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    Tags:
    migrants, hunger-strike, refugees, Amnesty International, Manus, Afghanistan, Australia, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea
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