Immigration

Shots fired at Manus Island centre, one asylum seeker injured

A supplied image obtained Saturday, April 15, 2017 of the damaged outer gate to the Oscar Compound on Manus Island detention centre. Source: AAP

Shots have been fired and at least one asylum seeker injured during a violent incident at the Manus Island detention centre.

Shots have been fired and at least one asylum seeker injured during a violent incident at the Manus Island detention centre, with rights groups and the opposition calling for a full investigation into the violence.

A large group of local men reportedly tried to storm the detention centre and attack the asylum seekers inside.

Personnel from the naval base were allegedly among the attackers and shots were fired, with images showing bullet holes in the accommodation buildings.

The Australian Immigration and Border Protection Department confirmed in a statement an "incident" had occurred at the detention centre and it was monitoring the situation.

"There are reports PNG military personnel discharged a weapon into the air during the incident," the department said on Saturday.

WATCH: Video from the centre of the suspected gunshot

0:00

The department said a male detainee had been injured when he was hit by a rock.

The violence reportedly broke out when locals tried to put an end to a soccer game that was being played by asylum seekers.

The detainees were forced to shelter inside when locals stormed the facility, with reports of sustained gunfire.

Initial reports suggested both Papua New Guinean police and navy personnel were involved in the shooting.

Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian-born journalist and asylum seeker held on Manus Island, tweeted that some shots had hit buildings in the compound.

"Navy have shot more than 100 times, some of the bullets have hit rooms. The situation on #Manus is critical," he wrote.

Opposition immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann has called for a full investigation at the Australian-funded offshore processing centre, adding that there were conflicting reports about what had happened.

"The culture of secrecy must change," Mr Neumann said.

"The Turnbull government must be up-front about what has happened overnight on Manus Island."

Amnesty International also called for a prompt and independent investigation.

Senior director for research Anna Neistat said the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island should be brought to safety.

"Friday's shooting serves as just another example that the Manus island detention facility is not a safe place for asylum seekers," Dr Neistat said.

"More incidences like this are inevitable unless the refugees and asylum seekers are relocated to safety."

The Human Rights Law Centre said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull must immediately evacuate the camp and bring the men to safety in Australia.

"Enough is enough," spokesman Daniel Webb said.

"Most of these men were found to be refugees years ago. Last night's attack has again left them terrified and - after four years of fear, violence and limbo - they are completely exhausted."

The Manus Island detention centre is due to close on October 31.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says those refugees who aren't taken under an agreement with the US will settle in the PNG, while non-refugees will be sent back to their home country.

People presently detained on Manus Island will not be coming to Australia, no matter how hard refugee advocates push, Mr Dutton said this week.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch