The Greens are pushing for LGBTI asylum seekers on Manus Island to be settled in Australia.
Senator Nick McKim, Greens immigration spokesperson, and Senator Janet Rice, Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson, have called on the Australian government to bring gay asylum seekers currently held on Manus Island to Australia, with the detention centre slated for closure in October.
The Greens questioned immigration officials in senate estimates, highlighting the risks faced by gay asylum seekers on Manus Island.
Senator Rice, Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson:
“The government is being profoundly cruel. Many of these men have fled their home country because of their sexuality, so going home is not an option. Nor is Papua New Guinea where homosexuality is a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Australia is a place that openly accepts lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and transgender (LGBTIQ) people. It’s time to bring these men to Australia so they can be who they are without fearing for their lives.”
Senator McKim, Greens spokesperson for immigration:
“The Australian government has put these men in an impossible position – they cannot safely return home and it is not safe for them in Papua New Guinea. Either way, their lives and liberty are at risk. Homosexuality is a crime in PNG, carrying a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.”