Govt should show compassion and resettle Australian refugees

John Key needs to do the right thing and offer to resettle refugees and asylum seekers from Australian detention centres, the Green Party said today.

Australia and Papua New Guinea confirmed yesterday that the Manus Island detention centre will close but offered no details on when, or what will happen to the people currently detained there.

“Every day that these camps remain open is another day that people are living in limbo, facing abuse by guards and inhumane living conditions,” said Green Party human rights spokesperson Marama Davidson.

“New Zealanders have shown repeatedly that they are compassionate people who want to do their bit to help people fleeing persecution and conflict.

“John Key should be making it clear to Malcolm Turnbull that we will be part of a humane solution by offering to resettle as many people as we are able to, and give them somewhere safe to call home.

“John Key’s 2013 offer to resettle 150 people from Australia’s camps was a tit for tat deal in exchange for sending people seeking asylum in New Zealand to Manus or Nauru. We can do better than that.

“We have known since early 2015 that Australia is violating torture laws by holding asylum seekers in dangerous and violent conditions on Manus Island, and this week we heard in horrific detail the abuse of women and children in Nauru.

“But John Key refuses to condemn the behaviour of our closest ally and friend, which is happening in our Pacific backyard.  He should be calling on his mate Malcom Turnbull to expedite the closure of Manus Island as soon as possible,” said Ms Davidson.

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