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Executive Summary for October 30th

We review the latest refugee-related issues, including Australia being warned that Manus closure does not end its responsibilities on PNG, a Turkish M.P. saying that the E.U. has broken the refugee deal and a report saying that Calais police violence is worsening.

Published on Oct. 30, 2017 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

PNG Minister Warns Australia Is Not off the Hook Over Manus Inmates

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has warned Australia that it is responsible for inmates at a soon-to-be-closed detention center.

PNG’s immigration minister Petrus Thomas said that the welfare of nearly 800 asylum seekers at Manus was Australia’s responsibility.

Asylum seekers detained while trying to reach Australia by boat have been kept in one of two Pacific detention center for up to four years. But the Manus center has been ruled illegal by a PNG court and must close.

Thomas spoke out after human rights groups warned the closure of the detention center would prompt a humanitarian crisis.

“It is PNG’s position that as long as there is one individual from this arrangement that remains in PNG, Australia will continue to provide financial and other support to PNG to manage the persons transferred under the arrangement until the last person leaves or is independently resettled in PNG,” he said.

Manus is closing on October 31, but some residents are refusing to move. Some 200 have been relocated to temporary transit camps, but 600 more remain at Manus. Australia has pledged $195 million for the welfare costs of the estimated 800 asylum seekers.

Hopes that a swap deal with the U.S. would solve the problem have foundered, with only 25 people so far moved. Those detainees not resettled in the U.S. can stay in PNG or on Nauru, a tiny Pacific Island where Australia operates a second detention center. Nearly all of the asylum seekers have refused invitations to settle permanently in either location.

Turkish MP Says E.U. Is Not Meeting Terms of Refugee Deal

A Turkish lawmaker has accused the E.U. of failing on its side of a migration deal. Salim Uslu from the ruling A.K. party complained that financial promises have not been kept.

The March 2016 E.U.-Turkey statement foresaw aid to Turkey of $7 billion but Uslu said that only $930 million has been forthcoming.

“Unfortunately, we are about coming to the end of 2017, they have just given 800 million euros [$930 million] until now. They have not kept their promises.”

Uslu also complained that Turkey faces criticism from rights groups over its treatment of refugees, while E.U. member states were guilty of worse.

He accused Greece of leaving refugees “out in the cold” and Macedonia of keeping them behind barbed wire. Uslu pointed to harsh treatment of asylum seekers in Hungary and accused Germany of losing unaccompanied refugee children.

“If you are looking for human rights violations, you should see the plight of refugees in Europe,” he said.

Jungle Closure Has Led to Increased Police Violence in Calais

Police violence against asylum seekers has worsened in Calais, France. A new report said that brutality has increased since the closure of an informal settlement last year.

The Refugee Rights Data Project (RRDP) said it had evidence of “excessive” and sometimes “life-threatening” use of police force. Nine out of 10 of the 223 refugees and migrants surveyed said they had experienced police violence.

The Calais “Jungle” was a magnet for asylum seekers hoping to reach the U.K. prior to its closure. Researchers were told of the use of police dogs, tear gas and batons by those they spoke to, some of whom said they had been punched or suffered broken limbs.

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