Crowe attacks Australia over refugee treatment

Russell Crowe has criticised Australia for its treatment of refugees at a controversial detention centre on Manus Island.

Hundreds of people have been sent to the remote Pacific island under Australia's strict border control policy – with the actor demanding change in a series of tweets.

The New Zealand-born star, who has spent most of his life in Australia, wrote: "Manus. A Nations shame. Lives held in limbo. Lives lived in fear & despair. It's f****** disgraceful."

Food, running water and electricity has been cut off to the refugee camp, with Human Rights Watch director Elaine Pearson telling Reuters: "(The men) are severely dehydrated and a number of them have pretty serious health problems such as heart issues."

Image:Food, running water and electricity have been cut off to the camp

When a Twitter user asked whether Crowe was prepared to take in refugees, he replied: "I've thought about this. I believe I could house and find jobs for 6. I'm sure there'd be other Australians who would do the same."

In a situation which the UN are calling a "humanitarian emergency", about 600 men have barricaded themselves inside the camp, frustrating government efforts to shut it down.

Their protest is in response to Canberra government plans to move them to a less secure transit centre elsewhere on the island.

Crowe wrote: "If one of the men on Manus was your brother, your Uncle, your Father…your son… The world is watching Australia & we look like a*******."

After receiving several critical comments, he defended his right to share his opinion, adding: "Go ahead write stupid articles, send me abuse, call me naive. Doesn't change that what Australia has done to these men on Manus is appalling."

Australia's immigration policy has been widely criticised
Image:Australia's immigration policy has been widely criticised

Australia's "Sovereign Borders" immigration policy – which refuses to allow asylum seekers arriving by boat to reach its shores – has been widely criticised by the UN and human rights groups.

The government insists it prevents deaths at sea and protects the country's borders.

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