January 1, 2017
TWO Iranian refugees on Manus Island were reportedly bashed by a group of Papua New Guinea police and immigration officials on New Year’s Eve and are now in custody without charge or medical attention.
The Refugee Action Coalition says the two men, whose first names are Mehdi and Mohammad, were joining in new year’s celebrations when they were confronted by Papua New Guinea Immigration officials who told them they had no right to be outside the detention centre, and, along with police officers, assaulted them.
The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection said on Sunday night it was aware of an incident on Manus Island on Saturday involving two Iranian refugees but as a law and order matter, “the issue is primarily one for the PNG police force”.
However, the Refugee Action Coalition says the Australian government is a “party to the brutality”.
“It’s time the government stopped playing politics with the lives of innocent people, and brought all the asylum seekers and refugees to Australia,” the organisation’s spokesman Ian Rintoul said.
Mr Rintoul told AAP the men were allowed to be outside the detention centre and were not doing anything wrong.
Photos sent to the Refugee Action Coalition show severe injuries to the mens’ head, face, neck and back.
Mr Rintoul said the men were in custody without charge and had not received medical attention or pain relief.
“Mehdi says he believes that his wrist and jaw may be broken while Mohammed is suffering severe headache and pain and thinks his nose is broken,” he said in a statement.
The Refugee Action Coalition obtained details of the incident through a phone call with a friend of the men who is also a refugee.