17 refugees flown from Manus Island to United States

A group of refugees from Manus Island and have reportedly left for the US. Source: AAP

PORT MORESBY (AAP) – Seventeen single men being held on Manus Island have flown to the United States under a refugee resettlement deal with Australia.

The 11 Pakistanis and six Rohingyans flew out of Port Moresby on Tuesday after almost five years in immigration detention.

Their departure takes to 147 the number of refugees who have departed Papua New Guinea to start new lives in America.

Another 214 refugees have been taken from Nauru.

The US has promised to accept up to 1250 people under the refugee deal, but advocates are concerned there are still about 600 detainees being held on Manus Island and another 800 on Nauru.

Advocates are also concerned US officials will not accept Iranians, Somali, Sudanese, Iraqi or Syrian refugees for resettlement because of President Donald Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” on immigration.

“The failure of the US deal has left the PNG and the Australian governments with a major humanitarian and refugee rights issue,” Refugee Action Coalition Ian Rintoul said. “It is now clear that hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers denied resettlement in the US have nowhere to go — except Australia.”

More Stories