Increasing pressure on authorities over Manus Island humanitarian crisis

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Manus Island refugees told they will not be removed by force

It is thought that a group of around 400 men - the majority of whom have refugee status - are now refusing to leave the facility, in defiance of Australian orders that they are relocated from the camp.

The power and water have been turned off but hundreds of men remain barricaded inside.

Activists chain themselves to the gates of the Australian high commission in Wellington to protest against the treatment of Manus Island refugees and asylum-seekers.

Manus Island refugees said they were advised on Saturday by officials their eviction deadline would be extended another 24-hours, by which point they would be forcibly removed from the processing camp which had been without food, water or medical supplies for almost two weeks.

"Our advice to them is that common sense must prevail", Manus Police Commander David Yapu said on Monday. They have entered the camp to destroy shelters and remove bins in which drinking water was being stored but they have not tried to forcibly evict anyone.

Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is interned on Manus Island, wrote on Twitter that the men had been "struggling with starvation" since refusing to leave the camp when it was declared closed two weeks ago.

Personnel from the PNG immigration department inside the detention centre. The government argue that it deters asylum seekers from attempting a perilous sea voyage to Australia.

Asylum seekers protest on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, in this picture taken from social media November 6, 2017.

Morteza Saffari, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said, "The Australian government, despite all its apparent support for human rights, has made it very hard for those taking refuge there and pays no attention to human rights [of those concerned] whatsoever", ICANA reported on Saturday.

"It is time for the New Zealand government to do more than offer to take 150 refugees from Manus or Nauru", she said.

"I see the human face of this issue". No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done, ' she said on Sunday.

"There are no interpreters in Manus right now", he said. I think it's clear that we don't see what's happening there as acceptable, that's why the offer's there'.

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