Advocates have rallied in Sydney to demand refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island are brought to Australia a day after doctors asked the federal government to send independent medical experts to check on the men’s health.
Two hundred protesters gathered in Hyde Park on Saturday almost three weeks after Papua New Guinea officially closed the detention facility on Manus Island.
Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Nick Riemer says the men on the island are being denied water and medical treatment while suffering “brutal threats and treatment”.
“Essentially our government’s response to that has been to say ‘You can go and you might as well die in the jungle for all we care,” he said. “That’s shameful.”
The Australian Medical Association is calling for Canberra to send an independent group of medical experts to Manus to assess the health situation of the men remaining in the closed camp and those living in the community.
“These men have escaped from dangerous and, for some, life-threatening circumstances and are now in the care of the Australian government,” AMA president Dr Michael Gannon said in a statement.
“It is our responsibility as a nation with a strong human rights record to ensure that we look after the health and wellbeing of these men and provide them with safe and hygienic living conditions.”