Disturbing footage from inside the Manus Island detention centre has revealed the filthy conditions faced by the men who have refused to leave the camp.
About 600 men are still in the detention centre 10 days after it was officially closed and food, power and water supplies cut off, saying they fear for their safety at the new facilities.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) began dismantling a shuttered Australian-run immigration detention center yesterday and warned it will use force if necessary to evict almost 600 men if they refuse to leave within two days, according to a notice posted at the camp.
It's been nine days since the Australian government cut off food, water, medical assistance and electricity to the refugees at the centre. "The Manus center was established for the sole reason of processing asylum claims".
Under a controversial policy, Australia has detained asylum seekers who arrive by boat in detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru, a small Pacific nation.
Given the Supreme Court's decision, the PNG Government has no choice but to intervene for the wellbeing of both the refugees and non-refugees. He warned that "appropriate means" would be used to "apprehend individuals who are causing unnecessary anxiety and violence".
Support will be provided for those willing to settle in PNG while non-refugees can voluntarily return home or face involuntary removal because they have no lawful right to stay in PNG.
"The refugees are extremely scared by immigration threat but still saying we will not leave this prison camp for another prison camp", he tweeted.
However, it has been widely criticised by the United Nations and human rights advocates.
He reiterated that the options available for the MRPC residents are that refugees can move into the East Lorengau Transit Centre or other accommodation known as West Lorengau Haus, and wait for third country resettlement or settle in PNG.
Amnesty International warned, "Any use of force in this highly charged environment is likely to lead to serious injury or loss of life", calling for aid to be allowed into the camp.
He said the legal advice from government lawyers based on domestic and global law is that Australia is still responsible for any persons transferred to PNG under the regional resettlement arrangement, as they have initially sought asylum in Australia and Australia has an obligation as a signatory to the 1951 refugee convention.