The Uniting Church in Australia has asked to meet with the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton asking for information about the care and support being offered to asylum seekers on Manus Island and asked what can the government do to immediately improve conditions at the centre.
Yesterday, national director of UnitingJustice Australia Rev Elenie Poulos said the church is especially concerned by the most recent unsettling reports of the current situation in the Manus Island detention centre.
“We do not condone violence but are aware that such harsh and unforgiving conditions, exacerbated by feelings of fear, despair and hopelessness can drive people to extreme responses,” Ms Poulos said.
The church has called on successive governments to close the detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island and does not believe the conditions in the centres are appropriate for asylum seekers who may be suffering trauma from persecution.
While continuing to oppose mandatory and indefinite detention of asylum seekers and offshore processing, the church has again offered to work with the Government to support the care of asylum seekers and refugees in detention and in the community.