PNG police end standoff with refugees at Australia camp

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SYDNEY: Papua New Guinea police wielding metal rods cleared the final 320 holdouts from a shuttered Australian refugee camp on Friday, ending a 24-day standoff that put a global spotlight on Canberra’s tough policy on asylum-seekers. Videos and photos posted by the detainees showed police moving through the camp on Manus Island, swinging long metal batons and pushing men towards buses bound for PNG-run centers elsewhere on the island. Pictures showed men with some scrapes and cuts they said came from being hit and dragged by police. Several hours later, PNG and Australian officials confirmed the camp on a former PNG naval base had been emptied as ordered by the PNG Supreme Court, which said last year that the Canberra-run detention center violated the country’s constitution. Australia’s Immigration Minister Peter Dutton welcomed the news, and accused refugees and their advocates of making “inaccurate and exaggerated claims of violence and injuries” during the police operation.

AFP

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