“The police will do whatever they can to try to control [a protest]. This has sometimes involved beatings, slashing with machetes and imprisonment.”Regarding corruption, asylum seekers were told: “Police may ask for money or sexual favours in return for not imprisoning or beating you.” The notes continued: “[The police] might also commit crimes themselves, such as bashing or killing someone, in return for a small bribe.” It is understood that the sessions were delivered by Salvation Army staff and personnel from PNG Immigration in December 2013 and January this year as part of the education and activities schedule at the detention centre. The Australian and PNG governments confirmed on April 3 that asylum seekers sent to Manus Island and found to be refugees would be resettled in PNG and “no one will be resettled in Australia”. The modules also provided frank details about child abuse in PNG: “Physical and sexual violence against children has been common, especially in families where the mother is also abused.” A session on public safety covered topics including criminal gangs, tribal wars, human trafficking, crocodiles and volcanoes. Asylum seekers were also told that half of all deaths in PNG were caused by diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, rabies, HIV/AIDS, cholera and typhoid.
Inside Manus Island: expect crime, violence and deadly disease in PNG, detainees told
The Citizen journalists Rose Iser, Bec Zajac, Michael Roddan and Chris Shearer report on information being given to asylum seekers about PNG.