Manus island Iraqi asylum seekers continue protests; IOM contradicts Minister – Iraq is unsafe : Refugee Action Coalition


Up to 25 Iraqi asylum seekers in Delta Compound in the Manus Island detention centre are maintaining their protest for “Freedom.”

The Iraqis who began their peaceful protest last week have been maintaining a 24 hour-protest, since Friday 20 June, sleeping outside on the grass near the gate to the compound.


The Iraqis’ protest began as full-blown sectarian conflict engulfed most of Iraq and following comments from Scott Morrison that the Australian government would continue to forcibly deport Iraqis to the war zone, and would not progress protection claims by Iraqis on Manus or in Australia.


But IOM (International Organisation of Migration) has directly contradicted Morrison’s stance and says it will not facilitate any removals of Iraqis.


IOM told a handful of Iraqis on Manus Island who asked about possible voluntary returns that Iraq is too dangerous and the IOM and Iraqis will not be sent from Manus to Iraq.


“The IOM’s stance makes a mockery of Scott Morrison’s position. His position is completely untenable,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The Iraqis are now in the same position as the Syrian asylum seekers; trapped between the danger of war in their home country and the menace and impasse of Manus Island.


“It is imperative that the Iraqi asylum seekers on Manus (and Nauru) be brought are brought to Australia, and that those in the Australian community be given the protection they need.”


There are over 100 Iraqi asylum seekers on Manus Island, most held for almost a year without processing. Last Friday (20 June), there had been Iraqi protests in two compounds on Manus Island. However, the situation regarding protests in the other compounds was not known as of Monday (23 June) morning.


For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713


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