Australia has freed dozens of refugees after holding them in detention for years under a policy designed to deter people from seeking asylum in the country, advocates said Tuesday.
Kurdish-Iranian writer and refugee Behrouz Boochani, who has been held in Australian migration detention on Manus Island since 2013, has won Australia's National Biography Award for his memoir ‘No Friend But the Mountains.’
The United States will join Pacific ally Australia to build a naval base on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, US Vice President Mike Pence said, amid a push by regional powers to lock in alliances and secure access to key infrastructure.
Australia declared the centre closed on October 31, shutting off water and electricity supplies following a Papua New Guinea Supreme Court ruling that the camp was unconstitutional.
Around 600 refugees and asylum seekers have been living without food, water or electricity for more than a week inside the Manus refugee detention facility, which was shut down by Australia last week.
Canberra sends asylum-seekers who try to reach Australia by boat to facilities on Nauru in the Pacific and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, where they are blocked from resettlement in Australia.
Australia and Papua New Guinea have agreed to close a controversial Australian-funded asylum seeker detention centre on Manus Island, although the ultimate fate of 800 refugees held in the camp remains unclear.