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    Manus Island regional processing facility

    Two-Week Protests End at Australia’s Center for Undocumented Immigrants

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    The arrest of the hunger strike's leaders has put down the two-week long protests at the detention center in Papua New Guinea. Despite the protests and self-harm by the detainees, the authorities are still planning to resettle them in PNG or return them to their countries 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
    MOSCOW, January 27 (Sputnik) — The two-week long protests at the Australia-run detention center in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are over after a new series of arrests of the alleged protest leaders took place Tuesday, Guardian Australia reported.

    "The Papua New Guinea government and the officials have exerted control over the processing center and as a result normalcy has returned," PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said, as quoted by the newspaper.

    The protests at the Manus Island detention center started January 13. More than 700 people have been on hunger strike and four people have sewed their lips together in protest at the conditions and length of detention as well as plans by the Australian government to resettle the detainees in PNG. The protesters claimed that being resettled in PNG was unsafe due to local population's hostility.

    On Tuesday the detention center guards conducted raids arresting several more alleged protest leaders. A similar operation was conducted last Monday. As a result of the two raids more than 60 people were arrested, according to Guardian Australia.

    Despite the protests and self-harm by the detainees, the Australian and PNG authorities are still planning to resettle them in PNG or return them to their countries of origin, the newspaper said.

    "Those who are deemed not to be a genuine refugee will be sent back to their respective countries," O'Neill said.

    Over 50 people have already received refugee status, while others still refuse to be settled in PNG.

    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 were injured.


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