NZ protesters lock gates of Australian High Commission in Manus protest


The squalor faced by Manus Island refugees in Papua New Guinea. TRT video

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

New Zealand activists have chained themselves to the gates of the Australian High Commission in Wellington while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has reaffirmed the country’s offer to take some of the refugees and asylum-seekers from Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

News reports said the purpose of the Wellington protest was to prevent anyone inside from leaving, Peace Action Wellington spokeswoman Emma Cullen said.

About 20 protesters were reported outside the high commission yesterday afternoon, of whom three or four were chained to the gates.

The protesters hoped to stop high commission staff leaving last evening, to highlight the plight of the about Manus detainees whose basic services have been cut off by the authorities.

“We’re shutting them down for as long as we can … at least until the evening, to affect these people, and for these people to acknowledge and question what their government is doing,” Cullen said, according to Stuff.

In Manila for the APEC meeting, Prime Minister Ardern has been seeking a meeting with Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull to discuss further New Zealand’s offer to take 150 refugees from Manus.

Turnbull has suffered a disastrous popularity slump, according to The Australian newspaper.

The PNG Supreme Court has forced the closure of Ausytralia’s offshore detention centre for asylum seekers but many have refused to leave in spite of the power, water and food supplies being cut off.

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