Last week News Ltd journalist Rory Callinan and myself managed to get inside the now ‘closed’ Australian asylum seeker detention centre at Lombrum, Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
We were invited to join a small band of refugees who were running urgently needed foods and medicines back to the detention centre where near 600 asylum seekers had been abandoned and left with no food, water, electricity, health or any other services by Australia’s ‘closure’ of the centre. The food run was to be one of the last … police next day stopped the boat trips and arrested local boatmen.
Our visit was short and chaotic … we were mobbed by men desperate for help and desperate to tell their harrowing stories of four years detention or to beg for medicines. Conditions were obviously deteriorating fast … despite their attempts to keep basic order and collect water from a makeshift well dug in the camp. Some were visibly ill and others showed signs of mental torment.
I’m not sure how long we spent in the camp but we were soon ushered back to the boat as we were warned the police were coming. But we were there … unlike the overwhelming majority of Australia’s media.
The images were used in News Corp publications including three on the front of The Australian.
A sobering experience … although in depth comment at the moment eludes me …
Have now compiled a photo essay of the images made. Below are just a few from the full essay which is now published on my web site at … https://www.briancasseyphotographer.com/photographs/inside-abandoned-manus/
Images © Brian Cassey and News Corp.