By now most Australians are aware of the rapidly deteriorating scenario on Manus Island. Hundreds of refugees who have been kept in the Australian-sponsored offshore detention centre at Lombrum Naval Base are being forced out to new accommodation untested and unprepared for their arrival.
These men, who have survived for two weeks since the Australian and PNG governments cut off food, water, electricity, security and medical supplies to the camp, have endured extraordinary, escalating circumstances. Yet they remain, for the most part, resilient – even as PNG police and military prepare to enter the camp and forcibly remove them.
Kon Karapanagiotidis, CEO of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, said he has been on the phone with the men at Manus, “hearing men starving, malnourished, dehydrated, without hope, some struggling even to breathe, others forced to go dangerously cold turkey from medications for their mental health and heart, men fearing they are going to die”.