Nearly 600 asylum seekers dig in at a squalid Australian-run detention center in Papua New Guinea. Authorities have begun dismantling the camp, saying they will remove the asylum seekers by force, if necessary. Samantha Vadas reports.
Filthy cots and crowded rooms at an Australian-run detention center in Papua New Guinea caught on camera by activists smuggled inside. After a two-week stand-off, workers have begun tearing the camp down on orders from authorities who are trying to close it. They're threatening to use force if the inmates don't leave, But nearly 600 asylum seekers are refusing to budge fearing that they'll be attacked if they leave the camp, because locals don't want them there. They're surviving on handouts and rainwater after authorities cut off power and water supplies more than a week ago. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IRANIAN ASYLUM SEEKER BENHAM, SAYING: " As you see, there is no water, the shower is not working. The handwash, as you can see this is a very filthy place. They put these things around this. Both two years we haven't had this arrows in here. It was all wood, there was a lot of cockroaches moving around everywhere. As you see this tap is also not working. There is no water here and the toilet these people use for urination and use this bottle for that." Australia has come under fire for detaining asylum seekers who try to reach its shores by boat and holding them in off-shore detention centers like this one. Australian officials say the detention policy is meant to deter people from making dangerous voyages by sea.