Pakistani refugee drowns at waterfall on Manus Island

Friends of the refugees at Manus Island say the 34-year-old’s death was misadventure, not suicide.

A Pakistani refugee from Australia’s offshore immigration detention centre has drowned at a waterfall on Manus Island.

He reportedly went missing on the afternoon of 2 August at a waterfall close to the town of Lorengau. His body was found two hours later after a search by locals and police.

“They found him after two hours of heavy searching by local Manusians and police,” another refugee on Manus Island, Aziz Adam said. “There were many people there.”

Australia’s immigration department told AAP it is aware of the man’s tragic drowning.

“Australian government representatives remain in close contact with the Royal PNG Constabulary (Police) which is managing the situation,” a spokesman for the department said.

Kamil was married and had a daughter. His family remain in Pakistan. It’s unclear if they have been informed of his death.

Kamil, 34, who was being held at Australia’s offshore detention centre, is understood to have slipped on a rock in the waterfall and struck his head. Friends have t0ld Guardian Australia the 34-year-old’s death was misadventure, not suicide.

The news of death comes as a report by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watchfound refugees on Nauru are assaulted on a daily basis.

In April, the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court ruled the Manus Island detention centre was illegal and detainees have been free to move around the island since then.

The ABC has reported the Supreme Court has now called for the Australian government to present a resettlement plan for the nearly 900 asylum seekers still living on the island.

Ben Lomai, a lawyer for some of the detainees told the ABC: “The court has embarked on this process on issue of resettlement”.

“That is a matter for the two governments, what we want is for them to be released,” he said.

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