Weekly media wrap - 22 August 2016

After a meeting of officials, the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments announced that the Manus Island detention centre will be closed 'as quickly as possible'. Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton reiterated that the asylum seekers currently held there would not be resettled in Australia. The minister stated that third countries for resettlement were being discussed and that the Australian government would provide PNG with extra resources to cope with the transition.

The Nauruan government stated that most claims made in the 'Nauru files' – more than 2000 leaked incident reports from Australia’s offshore detention centre on Nauru – were ‘fabricated’. In two tweets, the government claimed that left wing media and Greens politicians in Australia were using refugees as ‘pawns’ to further their political agendas.

Meanwhile, The Guardian revealed official correspondence showing that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and immigration minister Peter Dutton were extensively briefed on the harmful impacts of prolonged detention on children, including most recently in May 2016.

Over 1800 academics backed a policy paper calling for the end of ‘harmful policies of offshore processing, boat turnbacks and the mandatory detention of people seeking asylum’. The paper recommended to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that he hold a summit to consider ways to deal with the 2000 asylum seekers currently held on Nauru and Manus Island.