Violent attempt to breakout at an Australian refugee camp in Papua New Guinea

February 17, 2014

Violent attempt to breakout at an Australian refugee camp in Papua New Guinea

35 seekers of asylum in Australia sought to escape from their detention centre (or, prison) in Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, authorities said here on Monday. There were tensions and a lot of consternation about the new developments. However, authorities claimed that all those who sought to escape were finally caught. Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the group broke free on Sunday evening but were quickly caught by private security contractors at the detention facility, which is based at one of the two remote Pacific camps used as Canberra's off-shore detention policy’s detention facility.

Australia’s policy regarding those seeking asylum and is arriving by boat is simple. It is simple in both its applicability and scope. It simply detains any seeker of asylum who is arriving by boat or is intercepted at sea and is seeking asylum on whatever grounds. And that person is then transferred to Manus or Nauru based on his or her admissibility there and he or she may get a chance to reside outside Australia and on these islands.

It appears from the news reports and the official statements that desperate detainees resorted to extreme means to escape to somehow find for themselves a new life elsewhere. According to Scott Morrison, Immigration Minister for Australia, the detention centre’s power poles were toppled and fences broken during the jail out-break and bunk beds were also broken to use them as makeshift weapons, but he added that there was no destruction of the accommodation place proper. The minister also emphasized that ‘face-to-photo identification’ of all the escaped detainees was conducted and all of them have now been caught and accounted for.     

The purported cause for the violent out-break was a latest meeting that Papua New Guinea's (PNG) immigration and citizenship authority (ISCA) had with the detainees over their ‘current visa/migrant status’. And, because in the meeting they (the detainees) were informed that they would be offered an option to resettle only in PNG and an option to reside or migrate to a third country would not be available to them. 


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