USA deal a lie, choose NZ - Manus refugee

UN implores Australia to resume feeding 'starving' refugees at remote camp

The pair had brunch at Kirribilli House on Sydney Harbour while discussing the unfolding humanitarian crisis on Manus Island where 600 people have barricaded themselves inside a mothballed detention centre fearing they'll be attacked if they leave.

Australian actor Russell Crowe says Australia's treatment of refugees held in Papua New Guinea is a "nation's shame".

There was no immediate comment from Australia or its representatives in Geneva.

The relocation of the men is designed as a temporary measure, allowing the United States time to complete vetting of asylum seekers as part of a refugee swap deal, agreed on previous year, under which Australia will accept refugees from Central America.

Australia's offshore detention policies have been heavily criticized by the United Nations and human rights groups but are backed the center-right government and the Labor opposition.

The UN Refugee Agency said last week that one of the new centres did not have electricity or water connected, and was not ready for refugees and asylum seekers.

Australia has recognized that numerous asylum seekers are refugees who can not return to their homelands, but it refuses to resettle anyone who tries to reach the country by boat in a policy it credits with dissuading such risky ocean crossings. They are Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, Afghans, Iranians, Sri Lankans and other nationalities.

"We of course do not have the circumstances that Australia is operating under, but we also can not ignore the human face of what Australia is dealing with", she said.

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Food, water and power has been cut off to the site, which is also a Papua New Guinea naval base.

"Australia's policy of deterrence by rescuing people at sea, mistreating them and abandoning them has become a notion of cruelty".

However, Mr Andrews said Australia should only accept New Zealand's offer to take the refugees provided 'it doesn't become a backdoor entry via New Zealand to Australia'.

"At the moment hundreds of naked men are lying around me", wrote Boochani.

Refugees had hoped Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would accept a longstanding New Zealand offer to resettle 150 people.

Australia has struggled to move the refugees to third countries such as Cambodia or PNG.

Sudanese refugee Hass Hassaballa was devastated the NZ offer was rejected.

"We want our offer to remain on the table so we can assist as much as we are able in expediting a resolution on this issue", she said. "You can't keep political hostages". The agreement had envisaged resettling up to 1,250 refugees from Manus and Nauru to America, but the vetting process has been slow.

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