Latest Stories: Manus Island - Heaven and Hell
© Brian Cassey 2016
Idyllic Manus floats in the Bismarck Sea north of the mainland of Papua New Guinea nudging the equator.
It was virtually unheard of before the Australian Government negotiated with the PNG government and opened the Manus Island Detention Centre. The Australian government estimates it's investment in the island’s detention centres - which house refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa - at close to a billion dollars.
Early in 2016 the PNG Supreme Court reached the decision that the detainment of asylum seekers on Manus Island was unconstitutional. Since that decision many asylum seekers have been allowed some freedom from detention and now mix freely in the Manus Island community, causing animosity to spread. Former detainees have been fraternising with local girls, selling cigarettes (paid for by Australia's tax payers) at prices that undercut the locals - and breaking local laws and traditions. Asylum seekers have been involved in fights with locals, have received death threats and been beaten by police and security.
Tensions on Manus are mounting daily.
Paradise is on a knife's edge ... Heaven & Hell … just depends on your perspective.
© Brian Cassey