Detainees are blockading the Manus Island detention centre.

Groups of asylum seekers have barricaded two compounds within the Manus Island detention centre and are not allowing staff to enter.

Protesters in the Delta and Oscar compounds of the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre placed boxes in front of gates to keep out security staff and government officials.

“People in Delta compound fear from guards,” one asylum seeker said.

They said they were being denied food and water and have sent photos of men burrowing beneath a fence to reach crates of bottled water placed just outside the compound.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the Government had been “advised that food and water continue to be available”.

Manus Island claims another victim.

“However, normal services and supplies in certain areas of the centre have been affected by the disruptive behaviour of some transferees.  Normal services are ready to resume in those areas as soon as the situation allows,” the spokesman said.

A PNG government source also said food and water were not being denied to asylum seekers.

The source said staff were engaging with protesters to de-escalate tensions and had not tried to force entry into the barricaded compounds.

“At this time the government of PNG has refrained from forcing entry to the two compounds,” the source said.

“However, while we respect the right of asylum seekers to protest and voice their concerns, we will not permit them to do so in a way that endangers other asylum seekers, staff or the centre.”

Some asylum seekers who do not want to be involved in the protest have been moved to other parts of the Manus Island facility.


On Sunday, the Refugee Action Coalition published a letter it said was signed by 80 asylum seekers in Foxtrot compound.

“Here a disaster is about to happen, please prevent this disaster,” the letter read.

“The Australian Government is planning to resettle us in PNG against our will, by forcing us.

“We are not willing to be resettled in PNG because there is no safety [or] any future for us and our family.

“Today we consider us to be hostage for the Australian Government so they can deter others not to come to Australia.”

The protests began on Tuesday, apparently sparked by plans to transfer some of the 50 men given refugees status to a transit centre near the main town of Manus Island.

The Australian and Papua New Guinean governments have said “non-compliant behaviour” will not change the outcome for those detained at the Australian-run facility.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the Government needed to be upfront about what was happening on Manus Island.

“I think most Australians are sick and tired of the culture of secrecy surrounding Manus Island,” he said.

“We’ve got to have the right policies in terms of deterring people smugglers. The people that come into the care of Australia must be treated properly.”

This article originally appeared on ABC News, and has been republished here with full permission.