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Tents at the Manus Island regional processing facility
Manus Island regional processing facility

PNG Council of Churches condemns Asylum Seekers detention

Fr.Denny Guka, the president of the PNG Council of Churches has said they cannot be silent on the issue of the Manus Island Detention Centre.

“We are a compassionate people motivated by Christian faith, who are deeply concerned about those who need protection and security. But to allow asylum seekers against their will into our country, and imprisoning people who have not broken our laws appears to us a new form of human trafficking,” he said.

As Papua New Guineans we are rightly proud of the protection guaranteed by our Constitution to all people, citizen and non-citizen alike. So is it right to allow people across our borders and place them in detention against their wishes? Is it right to do so without proper consultation with our people, particularly the people of Manus?

Fr Guka said the PNG Council of Churches called on the government to resist the temptation to disregard the values enshrined in the PNG Constitution in exchange for monetary or material gain.

“We regret the way that Papua New Guinea has become an accomplice in a very questionable handling of human tragedy. The detention centre in Manus seems a cruel campaign that involves Papua New Guinea and its people in problems that are not of our making.”

He requested that the churches have access to detainees.

 

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