Thousands of protesters have gathered around Australia to demonstrate their horror at the Australian government’s treatment of asylum seekers on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, after power, water, food provisions and medical supplies were cut off to the now-shuttered detention centre.

The demonstration brought traffic and public transport around Flinders St Station in Melbourne to a halt, thanks to refugee advocates and others concerned about the fate of some 600 refugees and asylum seekers left on the island.

show us ur empathy. #bringthemhere #manusisland #manus #refugeeswelcome #seekingasylum #humanity

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March for refugees #bringthemhere #manusisland

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Earlier, Federal Greens MP Adam Bandt spoke before demonstrators gathered before the State Library.

Bandt said Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s handling of the situation, and the Australian government’s continual use of offshore detention as a deterrent to potential asylum seekers, rendered him a “terrorist.”

“If the definition of terror is to use violence and threaten people’s lives for political purposes, then Peter Dutton is a terrorist,” Bandt said.

Protests also took place in Sydney, with many gathering near Hyde Park to voice their dismay at the continuing crisis.

 

Take Responsibility, Manus Emergency Rally, Refugee Action Coalition Sydney #manus

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Manus Emergency Rally, Refugee Action Coalition Sydney #manus

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Manus Emergency Rally, Refugee Action Coalition Sydney #manus

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Although the Federal Government states three alternative accommodation centres has been established for the men close to the town of Lorengau, the asylum seekers claim those options are unsafe due to the threat of community reprisals.

This week, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Nai Jit Lam visited the centres, and claimed one of them is simply not ready to be inhabited.

ABC reports that armed guards are refusing to allow community groups to deliver food and other supplies to the asylum seekers.

The UN has also called upon the Australian government to urgently restore food, water, and other necessities to the men.

Since October 31, the men have chosen to stay at the detention centre, despite threats PNG armed forces could intervene to remove them from the site.

You can read more about the circumstances that lead to this crisis here.

Source: ABC
Image: @b_ella_mc / Instagram