Refugee Action Coalition
On Tuesday, 20 April, an early morning attack on a Port Moresby apartment accommodation by an armed rascal gang in Port Moresby has left asylum seekers being housed there in fear of their lives.
A group of about eight PNG nationals armed with shotguns and pistols confronted unarmed guards at the Citi Apartments around 3.30am Tuesday morning, before kicking down doors to gain entry to the asylum seekers’ rooms. The apartments house around 15 asylum seekers and refugees, previously held by the Australian government on Manus Island.
The gang assaulted individual asylum seekers before taking money, mobile phones, laptops, CDs and other valuables. In a couple of cases all the belongings, everything, including clothes, shoes, and torches, was taken.
At least three of the asylum seekers required hospital treatment for head and back injuries from assaults with pistol and rifle butts.
The attack has left the asylum seekers without any belongings and in fear of further attack. The asylum seekers at the apartments already suffered high levels of trauma and mental distress from the time on Manus and when they were starved and mistreated in the Australian funded high security Bomana immigration facility in July 2019.
“The attack on Citi Apartments is just the latest reminder that asylum seekers and refugees being held by Australia in PNG are not safe,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The refugees are also vulnerable to COVID infection as the virus spreads in Port Moresby.
“The Australian government has a duty of care to the asylum seekers they sent to Manus Island eight years ago. They should be urgently brought to Australia and provided the safety and permanent protection they need.”
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713