|Australia's Abbott warns asylum-seekers to stay away, following riot at refugee dump
Hardline Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told potential asylum seekers heading to the "Lucky Country'' that the door is firmly shut.
He told ABC Radio today, following a mass agitation at the controversial Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea where Amnesty International inspections have revealed there is no soap in toilets, that refugees should not leave home.
Abbott said Australia is a beacon of decency, but there is no way in.
"As far as this government is concerned the way is shut, don't get on a boat, you'll never get to Australia.''
He added that detainees are treated "humanely'' at the camp.
"But if you come to Australia illegally by boat this is I'm afraid what happens to you.''
Online news site PNG Edge, reported that 1,000 male asylum seekers had rushed the main gate at 5pm yesterday and some had escaped. They had been rounded up.
Australian officials said eight asylum seekers are under arrest following a fight on Sunday night.
The Immigration Minister Scott Morrison was cited by news.com.au as saying that all non-essential staff were evacuated from the center, but “a number” who remained sustained minor injuries.
He claimed the “tense” situation began after a meeting between detainees and officials.
“During that meeting transferees became agitated and commenced chanting,” Mr Morrison said.
Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul described the disturbance as "very, very serious.''
"What the message that the asylum seekers got was that there was no resettlement,'' Rintoul told ABC Radio.
Morrison said power poles and fences were toppled during the fracas and bunk beds smashed to fashion makeshift weapons, but there was no destruction of accommodation, AFP reported.
"A full face-to-photo identification has been conducted and all transferees have been accounted for,'' Morrison told reporters.