9 February 2017: A Nepali asylum seeker housed at Australia’s offshore detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island has run away from authorities and is on the loose, his fellow detainee from Iran said in a social media post early Thursday morning.
“They took one of them while he was crying and the other one escaped and now is lost. There were about 10 police officers. We don’t know where they are now,” an Iranian journalist detained at the same facility as the Nepali nationals said on Facebook.
“The asylum seekers from Nepal were under a lot of pressure for a long time. Five of them signed under pressure and went back to their countries last week. Immigration has said to the people with negative status sign this paper and get $20000, or we will deport you by force (sic),” he further said in the post.
Two hours later, Behrouz Boochani wrote another post, “After taking two Nepali refugees by force to deport them, immigration have started to hand out negative status papers to asylum seekers. Too many officers are with them, knocking on doors to wake people and tell them “go back to your country.””
A report by ABC later confirmed what the Iranian journalist had earlier said about the missing Nepali man as it interviewed their lawyer who has been trying to stop the process of deportation. “The men’s lawyer, Ben Lomai, said there were major problems with the assessment process, and the Government should not be deporting people until they are resolved,” the report said.