IN light of the impending and long-awaited closure of Australia’s detention centre on Manus Island, the Greens have called on the federal government to bring gay asylum seekers to Australia.

The Greens questioned immigration officials in senate estimates, highlighting the risks faced by gay asylum seekers currently on Manus Island.

Senator Janet Rice said the government was being profoundly cruel.

“Many of these men have fled their home country because of their sexuality, so going home is not an option,” she said.

“Nor is Papua New Guinea where homosexuality is a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

“Australia is a place that openly accepts lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, and trans people.”

Greens immigration spokesperson, Senator Nick McKim, said the government had put gay men in the detention centre in an impossible position.

“They cannot safely return home and it is not safe for them in Papua New Guinea,” he said.

“Either way, their lives and liberty are at risk.

“Homosexuality is a crime in PNG, carrying a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.”

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