Azerbaijan, Baku Aug. 12 / Trend
A fourth group of asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat, and who are subject to new regional settlement arrangements, have been transferred to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Australian Embassy in Kabul said in a statement.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) confirmed that the 39 asylum seekers - all single adult males - included 18 Iranians, 11 Pakistanis and 10 people claiming to be stateless.
Under the new arrangement signed with PNG on July 19, unauthorised arrivals will be sent to PNG for assessment and if found to be refugees, will be settled there.
"People found not to be refugees may be returned to their home country or a country where they had a right of residence, or held in a transit facility," a DIAC spokesman said.
The group landed in Manus Province, where they will be accommodated while their asylum claims are processed by the Papua New Guinea Government.
There is no cap on the number of people who can be transferred to PNG and transfers will continue on a regular basis, according to the press release.
Women, children and unaccompanied minors will be transferred in due course as appropriate arrangements are made.
Australia will work with PNG to expand the Manus Island regional processing centre, as well as explore the construction of other regional processing centres in PNG.
Australian government has announced on July 19 that illegal migrants which enter Australia by boat will not be tolerated, and will be sent to Papua New Guinea or their homeland. Australian Immigration Minister Tony Burke previously said that this shows that Australia is serious to prevent the influx of refugees into its territory.
On July 22, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Ghashghavi said Iran will pursue repression against Iranian refugees in Australia, noting that Iran is against mandatory deportation of its citizens.