Australians protest against unfolding 'emergency' in offshore detention camp

Australians protest against unfolding 'emergency' in offshore detention camp

Australia will continue to manage the refugee crisis which is teetering on a humanitarian crisis on Manus Island's detention center after declining New Zealand's offer to host 150 refugees.

"Australia blocking but has no right to say no", he wrote on Twitter.

Noting that all migrants, including refugees and asylum-seekers have a right to a safe and secure environment, a right to an adequate standard of living and to participate in the decision-making process that is affecting their future, Colville said: "Human dignity should be ensured throughout the entire processing of their asylum claims".

New Zealand has made the offer before but Australia has declined on the grounds it could allow the refugees access to Australia.

"The Australian government is not honest".

Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Adam accuses Australia of abandoning them, and hopes New Zealand will offer them sanctuary.

United Nations rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news conference in Geneva on Friday about the "unfolding humanitarian emergency" in the Manus island center, where asylum seekers have been reportedly digging wells to try to find water.

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Since 2013, Canberra has locked up all asylum seekers who try to reach its shores by boat in camps in the South Pacific. Among them are about 90 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, about 200 men from Iran, and others from Afghanistan, Somalia and Pakistan.

Since the centre's closure last Tuesday, food, water, power and medical services were cut from the centre, where about 600 refugees are refusing to leave.

Jacinda Ardern said she would personally restate the offer to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull when they meet on Sunday in Sydney.

Mr Turnbull said Australia was generous in accepting refugees and asylum seekers each year but it was the government who would determine who could settle there and not people smugglers.

"We of course do not have the circumstances that Australia is operating under, but we also can not ignore the human face of what Australia is dealing with", she said. "They force us to starve".

The government has been facing growing pressure to accept the offer in recent days, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten saying on Friday that Mr Turnbull should honour New Zealand's proposal and Liberal MP Kevin Andrews breaking ranks to join that call on Sunday.

Boochani said the New Zealand offer was "our best chance". "You can't keep political hostages". So far, about 50 refugees have been settled under the deal.

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