Manus Island Inquiry: Asylum Seekers Given Worm-Infested Bread in Prison-Like Conditions
By Reissa Su | March 19, 2014 7:03 PM EST
An asylum seeker revealed that the bread in the Manus Island detention centre is "full of worms." A court in Papua Guinea heard detailed accounts of asylum seekers eating worm-infested bread and enduring living in a "prison-like" environment. The asylum seeker detention facility in Manus Island is run by the Australian government.
The 25-year-old asylum seeker from Iraq told the PNG court that he was compelled to pull apart the bread provided in the facility to get rid of worms. Speaking through a translator, the asylum seeker said they found worms in the cereal and bread. However, the Manus Island authorities still continued to hand out the bread.
The asylum seeker was the first witness to testify before the Justice David Cannings inquiry. It was previously alleged that Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison had told asylum seekers to "not even dream about coming to Australia."
The first witness recounted what Mr Morrison had said and described the minister as being "a bit angry." He told the court that the asylum seekers detained in Manus Island seldom had soap for use in toilets and most of the time, they had no water in the bathrooms.
The Iraqi asylum seeker said that sitting in court made him feel more human since he felt he didn't have rights in the Manus Island facility.
In late February, protesters in Australia have called on the government to close the asylum seeker detention centre in Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, after it was revealed in a report that a former Sri Lankan military officer is running the facility.
The Australian government has confirmed that Dinesh Perera from Sri Lanka served as the operations manager for the asylum seeker facility which was set up on Manus Island in 2013. The detention centre is located in a rugged jungle-covered island off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. Asylum seekers who attempt to enter Australia by boat are sent to the Manus Island facility.
The asylum seekers mostly come from Asian countries, including Iraq, Iran, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. The detainees have been rescued from unstable boats after paying people traffickers money to cross the Tasman.
Human Rights Law Centre advocate Emily Howie said the Manus Island facility has been described as "cruel" and "inhumane" by the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees. Ms Howie is an expert on issues regarding international refugees. She has studied the human rights abuses in Sri Lanka and remarked that even if Mr Perrera had passed government scrutiny, there is no guarantee and "no peace of mind."
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kate Middleton’s Mom Accused Of Being A Social Climber, Prince George Not Seen By Relatives
- Prince Harry & Camilla Thurlow Getting Serious, St. Tropez Holiday Before The Prince’s 30th Birthday [PHOTOS]
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Heads to Malta For New Movie After A Whirlwind French Wedding [PHOTOS]
- Top 5 Richest Tennis Athletes
Join the Conversation
- ISIS Video of Slain Syrian Soldiers Raises Doubts; Syrian Gov't Demands Release of Captured Troops
- Family of Accidentally Killed Arizona Shooting Range Instructor Charles Vacca Feels Sorry For 9-Year-Old Uzi Girl
- Viral Video Kevin Droniak Grandma: Teenager Shows Grandma Their Videos Together, Grandma Gives Priceless Reaction
- Major Highlights On 1400 Minor’s Sex Assault
- 7-Year Old Buried Alive By 'Family' Crawls Out From Under The Ground
- Sept 19 iPhone 6 Release Date Firms Up as iWatch Rollout Delayed to Jan 2015 – Reports
- Apple iWatch is iPhone 6 Accessory on Sept 19 Release Date: 6 Confirmed Specs & Features
- Canada Vs Russia War Erupts Via Twitter on Russia-Not Russia Maps
- James Foley Torture Involves CIA Waterboarding Technique
- Malaysia Airlines to Axe 4,000 Employees, Including CEO; Suspends Trading of Shares
- North Korea Banker Who Manages Money of Kim Jong-un Defects to Russia With $5 Million
- West Looks Divided in Tackling Russian Invasion In Ukraine