Protesters take to Parliament House over Manus Island situation

Hundreds of people have taken to Parliament House to protest the federal government’s treatment of asylum seekers on Manus Island.

Organiser GetUp! said more than 300 people came to the Canberra protest to send a message to the country’s politicians.

“Today we stand in front of Parliament House to call on our politicians to evacuate the refugees and asylum seekers from Manus Island. We can only expect further violence in coming days,” GetUp Canberra’s Sally Rug said.

“The Australian Government cannot wait months for resettlement in the US or New Zealand.

“These refugees must be evacuated to Australia within days while resettlement options are being finalised.”

A message from Iranian detainee Behrouz Boochani, who was detained and later released at Manus Island last week, was read out to the crowd thanking Australians for their support.

“I’m writing from Manus Island. It’s not the first time that I am talking with you people in Australia,” he said

“We in Manus are aware that so many Australian people have protested in Australia in the past four years.”

Similar protests were scheduled around the country by GetUp!, with hundreds more taking to the streets in Melbourne and Sydney. 

A month-long stand-off ended last week when PNG authorities forced out more than 300 remaining asylum seekers at the decommissioned Manus Island detention centre after entering on Thursday.