Politics, Rights

Secret tape challenges Manus processing claim

Claims that processing of asylum seekers had been under way for weeks before violence engulfed the Manus Island detention centre are challenged by a secret recording of a meeting of security supervisors as tensions built to crisis point.

During an hour-long briefing of senior staff, the then acting regional manager of security provider G4S, John McCaffery, said he had been told that no refugee-status determinations would take place for the foreseeable future because of lack of funds.

The revelation casts doubt on Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s assertion on January 16 that processing had recommenced on Manus and had been under way for three or four weeks. The recording also reveals that, contrary to stated policy, there were at least three unaccompanied minors among the 1300 detainees on the island before the violence that culminated in the death of Reza Barati and injuries to scores of others — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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