The United Nations system in Papua New Guinea is gravely concerned by recent reports of human rights violations against asylum seekers on Manus Island. We note the reports of severe beating of two refugees allegedly by police and immigration officers on the 31st of December 2016, and the arrest and detention of one individual by the police on 13th of January 2017 apparently without charges being brought against the individual.
UNHCR is deeply saddened by the tragic death of the refugee who sustained fatal burns during the incident at the Nauru refugee settlement last week. UNHCR had been on Nauru undertaking a monitoring mission in relation to arrangements in place for the asylum-seekers and refugees transferred from Australia, and three staff were present at the site of the incident, though the man had not been interviewed by UNHCR or doctors accompanying the mission. Continue reading
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees welcomes Nauru’s decision to end the detention of asylum-seekers and to clear pending asylum claims promptly.
On Monday, the Government of Nauru announced that, effective immediately, its Regional Processing Centre hosting asylum-seekers would become an “open centre” 24 hours a day and that all asylum-seekers would be free to move around the island. The Government also committed to processing some 600 pending asylum applications in the next week, and to enhancing support for the local integration of refugees and asylum-seekers in the country Continue reading
The UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) has ended its first visit to Nauru, which focused on the situation of people being detained on the island and the need to establish an independent body to monitor places of detention. During their three-day visit, the SPT delegation visited Nauru’s police station and prison, as well as the Regional Processing Center (RPC) for asylum-seekers, a large facility comprising three separate units housing men, women and families with children who have been attempting to reach Australia. Continue reading
UNHCR is very concerned about the recent developments on Manus Island in which one asylum-seeker reportedly lost his life and several others were reported injured. We are in discussions with the Australian Government and welcome their commitment to investigate these events. Continue reading
UNHCR is seeking details from the Australian authorities about recent media reports of the Australian navy forcing boats, presumed to be carrying asylum-seekers on their way to Australia, back to Indonesian territorial waters, as well as reports of plans to buy and provide vessels for future push-backs. Continue reading
Australia’s indefinite detention of 46 recognized refugees on security grounds amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, inflicting serious psychological harm on them, a UN Committee has found after examining their cases. The Geneva-based Human Rights Committee said Australia should release the Continue reading