In July 2013, after the Australian Government announced it would no longer resettle people in Australia, there was unrest at the detention centre in Nauru. An independent review was commissioned.
A 23-year-old man, Reza Barati, was killed in February 2014, and others injured, during violent clashes at Manus Island detention centre. Two men were later jailed for his murder.
On 5 September 2014, Hamid Kehazaei died after being transferred to Australia too late for medical treatment.
On 26 April 2016, Omid Masoumali died after setting himself on fire in front of UNHCR staff and delays in transferring him for treatment in Australia.
On 10 August 2016, the Guardian published a harrowing cache of ‘incident reports’ on Nauru, referred to as the ‘Nauru files’. These files detailed hundreds of incidents of abuse, including sexual abuse, self-harm and the abuse of children.
On Good Friday in 2017, shots were fired during an incident involving PNG soldiers on Manus Island detention centre.
By June 2018, 12 people had died in offshore processing.
Another person, a young doctor, also died after being transferred from Manus Island to Brisbane in October 2019.
Interception of boat from India
In June 2014, the Australian Navy intercepted a boat travelling from India carrying 157 people seeking asylum. The government secretly attempted to return those on board, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils, to India. Their secret detention at sea was unsuccessfully challenged in the High Court. They were eventually transferred to Nauru.
Closure of Manus Island detention centre
In May 2017, the PNG government told refugees it would close the Manus Island centre on 31 October, and that those there would be rehoused in a transit centre near Lorengau. Hundreds, however, did not want to leave, because of fears of being attacked and of being abandoned by the Australian government.
The PNG government pressured them to leave over weeks, including by withdrawing power, water and medical services. Eventually, officials including police evicted those remaining.
It became clear that much of the new housing was not yet ready or was too full. They had less access to healthcare, and they were confined to their housing during a curfew.
Some people, however, had been refused refugee status, including several who did not participate in the process. They were held by the PNG government in Bomana prison, without access to the outside world, for several months. Those who did not leave were finally released in 18 January 2020.
On 19 August 2019, all those still on Manus Island were offered voluntary relocation to Port Moresby.