By: Dan Bergin
Five Christian leaders chained themselves to the front gates of the Australian prime minister's official residence in Sydney on Monday, to protest against Australia's treatment of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island. Anglican priest Father Rod Bower shared images and film on Twitter showing the group with chains around their necks locked to the gates of Kirribilli House.
The five protesters are holding signs with messages reading: #Love makes a Way, Close Nauru and Manus, and #Evacuate Manus.
Fr Bower said: "One thing we all agree on is the need to treat people the way we want to be treated ourselves. The relentless abuse of people by the government for political purposes not only diminishes these vulnerable refuges, it diminishes all Australians."
Many refugees at the detention centre had been living without being given food or water for about four weeks, after they refused to move to a new centre which they said was only half built and unsafe. On Friday, the Papua New Guinea authorities forcibly moved them to the new centre at Lorengau. Several refugees said they were beaten. Doctors from Medicin Sans Frontiers are protesting because they have not been allowed to examine the men.
Thousands of campaigners attended rallies across Australia at the weekend calling for the refugees on Manus Island to be evacuated to Australia.