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Manus Island Refugees Fail to Get Power, Water and Food Restored

The governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea agreed in April to close the center on Oct. 31.

“Hundreds of people remain in a crisis situation — hungry, thirsty and without adequate medical care,” Elaine Pearson, the Australian director of Human Rights Watch, said on Twitter after the court’s ruling. “Australia set up and abandoned this center, now it must avert this crisis by bringing the men to safety.”

By law, Australia will not resettle any migrants who approach the country by boat, a policy intended to discourage dangerous ocean crossings and human smuggling.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia has urged the migrants to move to the temporary accommodations in Lorengau.

“There are alternative facilities available of a very high quality, with food and all of the facilities,” Mr. Turnbull said on Tuesday.

The Australian Medical Association has called for “independent verification” of the health of the men who remain at the camp.

The detainees said that being denied water, food and electricity at the shuttered camp violated their human rights.

Mr. Boochani, the Kurdish journalist, said last week that the men were experiencing dehydration, hunger and anxiety. Another detainee said some of the men had fallen ill and were unable to get the necessary medical attention.

Among the men who had already left the camp, many said they felt guilty they were not able to stand in solidarity with those who had stayed behind.

“I feel guilt whenever I drink or eat,” said Ben Moghimi, a refugee from Iran who had been held on Manus for years, but on Tuesday was receiving medical care in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. “I tried to go back to Manus, but they won’t let me. I want to be there with them.”

On Sunday, hundreds of the men holed up in the center signed a letter addressed to the leaders of the United States, Canada and New Zealand, pleading for their help amid the standoff.

“We have no any other choices except for remaining in here,” the men wrote, urging the world leaders “to help us.”

On Sunday, during her first visit to Australia as prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern renewed her country’s offer to take 150 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru, the site of a second Australian detention center. She said New Zealand had an obligation “to make sure that we maintain our obligations to the United Nations to take refugees.”

Mr. Turnbull said Australia would not take up the offer “at this time.”

About 50 of the men have already been resettled in the United States.

Source: NYT > World

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