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Treatment of Refugees on Manus Island lacks respect: Sir Michael Somare

Former Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare says the treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers on Manus Island by both the PNG and Australian Government, lacks human dignity and respect.

In a statement today, Sir Michael says he watched with sadness as the two countries play football with the lives of refugees on Manus Island and acts of violence perpetrated with impunity and worse still lives have been lost.

When raised in Parliament, Sir Michael was accused of being party to the Manus Agreement, which Sir Michael says he was not.
He says when he took office in 2002, the agreement was already in place.
He stressed that Australia is is a large enough developed country that should be addressing its own problems on their shores and to exploit Nauru and PNG in such a way is disgraceful enough but to treat human beings with complete apathy is ruthless and insensible.

Sir Michael wants Australia to provide support for refugees to integrate and certainly has the capacity to do so.
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