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    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

    Manus Island Detainees Subject to ‘Grotesque’ Rights Abuse, Watchdog Claims

    © REUTERS / Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters
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    Asylum seekers on Manus Island are currently on a hunger strike, demanding UN intervention and resettlement options in a third country. They cite the unbearable conditions of their detention and extreme hostility of the local population toward them.

    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 20 (Sputnik) — Seekers of Australian refugee status held at a detention facility on Manus Island have been subject to severe beatings and torture, denied access to lawyer and even basic medical care, a spokesperson for the Perth-based Refugee Rights Action Network told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "Locked up without charge or trial, denied access to their lawyer Jay Williams, tortured, denied adequate medical attention [one man Hamid died from a foot infection] and rather horrifically often denied adequate drinking water," Victoria Martin said about the conditions asylum seekers were facing at the Manus Island detention facility.

    The spokesperson urged the international community to intervene in the situation and find a safe resettlement option for the detainees.

    Martin described the rights abuse detainees faced as "grotesque," citing numerous violent assaults on them by the police and local residents. According to Martin, Australia has done little to process the detainees' refugee claims, intending to "coerce them to return to their country of origin."

    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
    The Manus Island Regional Processing Center, located in Papua New Guinea, is run by an Australian company on behalf of the government. The facility is used for detention of undocumented migrants, mainly from South and Southeast Asia, who generally travel to Australia by boat seeking to obtain refugee status.

    Some of the asylum seekers are currently on a hunger strike, demanding UN intervention and resettlement options in a third country, citing the unbearable conditions of their detention and extreme hostility of the local population toward them. Canberra has scheduled the transfer of several dozen detainees to an insecure location on Manus Island for January 22.

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    Tags:
    migrant camp, migrants, human rights, refugees, Australian Manus Island detention center, United Nations, Manus, Australia, Papua New Guinea
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