Another 35 refugees are leaving Nauru for the United States on Sunday, the third group to depart Australia’s offshore immigration centres this week.
Almost all are single Afghan, Pakistani or Rohingya men, along with one Sri Lankan family and one Bangladeshi refugee, said Ian Rintoul of the the Refugee Action Coalition.
The makeup further confirms fears that Iranians, who make up the largest national group on Nauru, have so far been excluded from the US intake. Iran was proscribed by Donald Trump’s “travel ban”.
So far 84 people have flown from Nauru and another 85 from Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island to the US under the resettlement deal, with at least one more flight expected to leave this month.
About 2,000 refugees and asylum seekers remain in Australia’s offshore system.
The controversial “US deal” – decried as “dumb” but upheld by Trump – was brokered by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in September 2016.
In exchange for the US considering to resettle 1,250 refugees from Australia’s offshore camps, Australia agreed to take refugees from US-run refugee camps in Costa Rica. Those refugees are from the violence-plagued northern triangle countries of central America: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
A flight that left PNG for the US last Tuesday included 18 refugees – Afghan, Pakistani and Myanmar Rohingyan men – and was the third cohort to leave Manus Island in the 15 months since the US deal was announced.
The Australian government has conceded the deal with the US government – with a publicly declared cap of 1,250 places in America – will not be enough to resettle all of those it holds offshore.
PNG has offered to resettle some refugees, but is demanding greater assistance from Australia to do it. Fewer than 30 refugees have been able to settle in PNG outside of Australia’s offshore immigration control.
Nauru has resolutely refused to permanently resettle any refugees.
Over the weekend, refugees and asylum seekers held in Australian-built and controlled centres close to Lorengau township on Manus Island were told to stay indoors after three men were allegedly attacked on Friday by members of the PNG defence force.
The men, from Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, were transferred to hospital with multiple injuries.
One of the alleged victims, Afghan refugee Mumtaz Ali, said the group were set upon by the soldiers as they were walking in the rain in Lorengau.
Ali said one of the soldiers ran up behind them. “I thought that he wanted to share my umbrella with me. When I turned my face to him, he directly punched me on my face, on my right eye, right-side eye, then I fall on the ground and he started kicking me.”
Walid Zazai, an Afghan refugee being held in the Australian-run centre, said he was prevented from going into Lorengau by PNG police, who warned him soldiers were “beating” refugees.
Another refugee, Abdul Aziz Adam, said the men who were allegedly attacked were “traumatised” when they returned from hospital. “One of them said we were just walking & 10 navy guys with big muscles attacked & start beating us,” Adam wrote on Twitter.
According to the ABC, Manus Island police said an incident took place, but were yet to confirm who attacked the asylum seekers.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.