Australians protest against unfolding 'emergency' in offshore detention camp

Refugees protest on Manus Island with Australian Senator Nick McKim

With New Zealand's offer again declined, refugees on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island say they have no faith in the United States to resettle any more of Australia's offshore detainees. They are Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, Afghans, Iranians, Sri Lankans and other nationalities.

Australian authorities want the men moved to a transit center elsewhere on the island at the start of a process the asylum seekers fear will result in them being resettled in PNG or another developing nation.

Rallies in support of the refugees on Manus Island have been held in Sydney and Melbourne - with recorded messages from men within the detention centre being played to hundreds of people.

Dr Barri Phatarfod from Doctors for Refugees said no electrocardiogram heart monitoring or blood tests were carried out.

Since 2013, Canberra has locked up all asylum seekers who try to reach its shores by boat in camps in the South Pacific.

Grand Chief Somare said he had raised this issue of inhumane treatment while in parliament and was accused of being party to the Australia/PNG plan to set up the Manus Regional Processing Centre.

"And obviously the sooner the better, some of them have been there I think for four years", Colville said.

The alternative accommodation being proposed is not finished or adequate to meet their needs, including security, he said.

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Donald Trump called it a dumb deal but Malcolm Turnbull says the U.S. agreement to take 1250 refugees from Australia is his priority over New Zealand's offer to help 150.

They've run out of food, water and medication since Tuesday's closure but more than 600 refugees and asylum seekers are adamant it's safer to stay than risk being attacked by locals.

The last food distribution was on Sunday, he said. "They are starving and their bodies are getting weak".

"We thank New Zealand for making an offer, we are not taking it up at this time".

Speaking at a joint press conference after meeting NZ PM Jacinda Ardern on Sunday, Mr Turnbull left the door open to accepting her offer to resettle 150 refugees in the future, but only after Australia's arrangement with the Trump administration has concluded.

Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Adam accuses Australia of abandoning them, and hopes New Zealand will offer them sanctuary.

New Zealand citizens are typically allowed to work and live in Australia, a pathway that Australia fears could be used by the refugees to move to Australia.

She said she could hear the sounds of people dying for 45 minutes. "You can't keep political hostages".

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