Call to close PNG centre
The Prime Minister should rule out the possibility of the notorious PNG "Mobile Squads" being used at the Australian-sponsored Manus Island detention centre, saidGreens Senator Bob Brown, in a statement released early this week. The Prime Minister is meeting the new PNG Prime Minster Michael Somare and is expected to discuss the October 21, 2002 deadline for closing Manus Island detention centre." Senator Brown recalled that the Mobile Squads shot dead four students at Port Moresby University in June last year and that they have been involved in the burning of entire villages. He said that having the Australian Protective Services agents at the centre but with no legal authority under PNG law, and as such being called "advisors", was a legal fiction to disguise the fact they are indeed being used as security there. "The whole Manus Island operation is legally dubious. I also understand that riot squad gear, including shields and truncheons, has been sent from Australia to Manus Island. "The detention centre should be closed and the 700 asylum seekers brought to Australia immediately."