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Thursday, 26 October 2017 - 9:53
Australia urged not to risk asylum seekers in PNG
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Australia should consider deploying police to help protect refugees and asylum seekers it has detained in Papua New Guinea, Human Rights Watch says.
 
Australia holds refugees and asylum seekers arriving by boat on PNG's Manus Island and the Pacific nation of Nauru.
 
The Manus center is due to close next week. Australia has set up alternative accommodation in a nearby town.
 
A Human Rights Watch report said asylum seekers risked suffering "unchecked violence" in PNG after the closure.
 
There is opposition among Manus Islanders to the plan to relocate men from the Australia-funded detention center when it shuts down at the end of the month.
 
Immigration authorities want to move 600 men to three sites around the main town Lorengau.
 
But residents in Ward One on Lorengau's outskirts are angry about the construction of one of the accommodation facilities in their neighbourhood.
 
They say there was no warning or consultation before construction started earlier this month.
 
"We want our safety. What guarantee do we have?" said one man who spoke at a community meeting attended by about 50 people.
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