IN THE FIRING LINE SHOOTING AT AUSTRALIA’S REFUGEE CENTRE
ON MANUS ISLAND IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
At 7:20pm on Friday 14 April 2017, Amnesty International began receiving text messages, videos and images from refugees and refugee advocates about shots being fired by Papua New Guinea Defence Force soldiers close to and at the Australian run refugee centre on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The incident was subsequently widely reported in the Australian media.
However, critical questions remain about what transpired on 14 April.
Based on witness accounts and the limited official information, we know that at around 6:00pm on Friday 14 April, Papua New Guinea Defence Force soldiers physically assaulted a number of refugees and staff at the refugee detention centre.
The Papua New Guinean Police later stated that the incident involved ‘drunken soldiers’ going on a ‘rampage’, indiscriminately attacking refugees, service providers working at the centre and police officers.
The police confirmed that in addition to physical assaults, some of the soldiers discharged firearms. Luckily, no one was shot or killed on 14 April, but the unlawful use of firearms by soldiers posed clear risks to those at the centre, including refugees, service providers and government officials working there.
Iranian refugee and journalist, Behrouz Boochani, who has been detained at the centre for over three years, claimed on social media that two Sudanese refugees and one Pakistani refugee received injuries from rocks thrown by soldiers, and that one security contractor was badly beaten by soldiers.
Read the full Briefing here