Refugees fearful after Manus Island shots

A March 21, 2014 file image of asylum seekers staring at media from behind a fence at the Manus Island detention centre. AAP Image/Eoin Blackwell

A March 21, 2014 file image of asylum seekers staring at media from behind a fence at the Manus Island detention centre. AAP Image/Eoin Blackwell

Andrew Leeson


Refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island have not been told anything by staff and have spent Easter fearing more attacks after shots were fired into detention centre, refugee advocates say.

As many as 100 shots were reportedly fired into the camp and at least three people were injured by rocks thrown by a group of locals who tried to storm the compound on Good Friday, according to an Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani who is being held inside the compound.

Photos purportedly show bullet holes in detention centre buildings and a video claiming to be of the incident shows a white 4WD drive away as shots ring out.

But the Department for Immigration and Border Protection only confirmed one asylum seeker was hit by a rock and shots had been fired into the air by military personnel.

Papua New Guinea authorities are investigating the incident, according to a spokeswoman for the department.

‘It’s going to require a much more high powered investigation then anything that the PNG police could mount,’ Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul told AAP.

Those inside the camp had noticed more police outside the camp but no added security inside the detention centre, Mr Rintoul said.

‘People are also up all night on guard, concerned if there were any further attacks,’ he said.

The RAC has organised a protest in Melbourne renewing calls for those on Manus Island and Christmas Island be brought to Australia.

The Manus Island detention centre is due to close on October 31.

Immigration minister Peter Dutton says those refugees who aren’t taken under an agreement with the US will settle in PNG, while non-refugees will be sent back to their home country.

People presently detained on Manus Island will not be coming to Australia, no matter how hard refugee advocates push, Mr Dutton said this week.

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