A number of transferees have regrettably engaged in aggressive behaviour over the weekend at the Manus Regional Processing Centre and that protest action is ongoing.
The failure of this group to cease their disturbing actions is irresponsible – rather than protesting peacefully, they have chosen a disruptive path.
This behaviour is irresponsible and not only puts service provider staff in danger, but also other transferees.
Transferee threats to staff will not be tolerated by service providers, nor will action to coerce other transferees into protesting.
Transferees are not being refused food and water – the actions of some transferees are actively preventing the delivery of food, water and medical services to others who are not participating in the protest. Water has not been “cut-off” – water supply continues to meet the needs of the Centre.
I am aware of false and irresponsible claims being circulated by some advocates – these claims undermine the ongoing work of staff to engage with transferees at the Centre.
Uninformed, factually incorrect statements by some advocates aggravate the situation and do not assist with its peaceful resolution. I urge media to use caution when reporting claims from individuals and groups who may have a vested interest in portraying the incident in a particular light which they feel may help achieve a certain outcome.
I urge transferees – and anyone advocating this behaviour – to cease their aggressive actions and allow service providers to enter compounds and provide services especially to those not participating in protest activity.
We are working closely to support the PNG Government to resolve the unrest and ensure the safety and security of the centre and transferees.