Immigration Minister Peter Dutton accuses Manus Island asylum seekers of lying about death threats and disseminating propaganda.
Manus Island asylum seekers recorded video footage of PNG locals threatening to kill them at one of the settlement sites they have been placed at since the closure of the detention centre.
In the video submitted to the ABC, a man can be seen approaching the main gate of the West Haus compound with what looks to be a metal pipe.
Through the gate he reportedly says: “You’re dead meat”, and then “I will kill you”, in New Guinea pidgin.
Pakistani refugee Ijlal Haider told the news outlet he witnessed the man’s outburst. “They’re saying, ‘I will kill you and don’t come to outside’,” he said.
In response, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has flatly denied the authenticity of the evidence.
“It is complete nonsense,” he told reporters in Melbourne today.
“Some of these people are lying. There is no question about that.”
He suggests it’s nothing but a ploy to be relocated out of the country.
“If people are trying to twist the government’s arm or try to pump out this propaganda it is not going to work,” he said.
Who is guarding the gates of the new accommodation?
Meanwhile, News Corp reports that despite being sent a letter of intent by the Australian Immigration Department to guard all of the asylum seeker settlement sites on Manus Island, security firm Paladin Solutions is nowhere to be found.
At the Hillside Haus site, locals claiming they are working for Kingfisher (Manus Island-based company that operates a local hotel) are carrying out the duty instead.
In a video filmed by an asylum seeker, the men outside the gate say they are “not from Paladin”. When asked why asylum seekers are locked inside the gates, they say it is to protect them from young locals that are drinking and smoking marijuana.
The Australian reports Paladin CEO Craig Coleman said the company’s guards were on every site and referred all other questions to the Australian Government. Kingfisher did not return calls.