Footage appearing to show Papua New Guinean police beating refugees has emerged from Australia’s shuttered Manus Island detention centre, as authorities continue their operation to remove asylum seekers from the site.
A short video from the detention centre shows uniformed men raising metal poles against a group of cowering refugees.
#AUS_PNG You Destroyed Our Life, We lost everything Familys, Friends, even own Self Respect, We will Never Forget Your Treatment, We Realized we Are Not human Beings, World Forget About us, We Are better killed Here In The New Prison Camp Lourengo Manus. #MANUS pic.twitter.com/c7Fi9FYXl4— Ezatullah kakar (@EzatullahKakar) November 23, 2017
Another video appears to show asylum seekers being pushed out of the area, as authorities attempt to relocate hundreds of detainees to alternative accomodation.
Forcing by Force, Remember we will Never Accept PNG. pic.twitter.com/QCtAlNZQgJ— Ezatullah kakar (@EzatullahKakar) November 23, 2017
The footage comes after PNG police commissioner Gari Baki said yesterday’s efforts to relocate the men were undertaken “peacefully and without the use of force,” which stands in stark contrast with what some refugees on the island have reported.
They brought the buses inside the camp and dragged some guys into them.— Walid Zazai (@ZazaiWalid) November 23, 2017
They taking us by force to town centres.
They closed the gates of "Mike compound" and started beating guys.
Thank you Australia once again #ManusSOS pic.twitter.com/ypH3wMK2NX
A day of horror— Walid Zazai (@ZazaiWalid) November 23, 2017
A day of fear
A day i will never forget
I thought im back in Afghanistan in a war zone.
There was no way to hide,just the sky.
Friends have been beaten, have been took by force to town centres.
Don't know what will happen tomorrow…
Remember us in ur prayers
Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian journalist and Manus Island detainee, says this morning’s operations have forced many of the remaining 328 refugees to leave the detention centre for the three alternative accomodation sites.
This morning police attacked the prison camp and the refugees are saying that they beat them. The refugees are going to leave the prison camp. So many are in the buses and are on the way to the new camps. pic.twitter.com/j5t1fSYxdB— Behrouz Boochani (@BehrouzBoochani) November 23, 2017
Four buses are full and on way to the new camps. Three trucks are carrying people’s belongings. The refugees are saying that they are leaving the prison camp because police are using violence and very angry. I will share some photos when they arrive.— Behrouz Boochani (@BehrouzBoochani) November 23, 2017
Four full buses just arrived in East Lorengau camp, I am going to meet the people and will get more information. pic.twitter.com/5PB754Jqfb— Behrouz Boochani (@BehrouzBoochani) November 23, 2017
Since the detention centre’s official closure at the beginning of the month, asylum seekers have asserted the new accomodation facilities are unsafe and lack vital amenities.
That stance has been backed up by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which said construction at one of the sites was still incomplete at the start of the month.
We’ll update this story as it develops.