Story by Joseph Cooney. Edited for online by Cameron Kirby.

New leaked photos from Manus Island Detention Centre have renewed calls for the centre to be closed.

Human rights groups are outraged by the plight of detainees.

Vigil for asylum seeker Ezra Berati, killed on Manus Island in February. Phot: Bill Doyle
Vigil for asylum seeker Ezra Berati, killed on Manus Island in February. (Source: Flickr – Bill Doyle)

The images obtained by Fairfax Media show detainees holding their identity cards with slashed throats, large machete cuts to the scalp, bruises and even bullet wounds.

Amnesty International Refugee Campaign co-ordinator Graham McGregor says the leak shows the seriousness of the situation for the detainees.

“By showing their faces they are putting themselves at some considerable risk, these are desperate guys and desperate circumstances,” he said.

“Amnesty International’s position is that it is clear that these men are still a risk of further violence and that they are not receiving the medical attention that they need.”

‘Small indicaiton of the atrocity’

Refugee Action Coalition spokesperson Ian Rintoul says the pictures only show a fraction of the problem, and the true scope of the situation is only just beginning to surface.

“This is just a small indication of the atrocity that took place on the night of February 17,” he said.

“There are many many photos like that which show even more graphic injuries.”

Mr Rintoul says the photos are proof Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has blood on his hands.

“He [Mr Morrison] has actively prevented independent inquiries into what happened on February 17,” he said.

“There is no doubt that at both a general policy level and an immediate level that Scott Morrison and the government are complicit in the killing of Reza Berati, these injuries and the subsequent cover up.”

The minister’s office has not made a comment, but Mr Morrison did recently tell the ABC that as long as detainees act in an orderly manner, he can guarantee their safety.

This is in spite of leaked emails, obtained by Fairfax, to the immigration department from the facility’s manager – security firm G4S.

The emails warned of the need for better fencing, and increased security measures – pleas that were turned down by the department.

The emails came nearly nine months before the events in February.

Conditions ‘are pretty appalling’

Mr McGregor says it is an oversight he saw coming.

“I have personally been to Manus Island and seen what conditions are like there and they are pretty appalling,” he said.

“Unfortunately four months after our first visit we found that almost nothing has been done to improve conditions or to make things more bearable for the men locked up there.

“Although we do want these facilities closed, in the mean time we want conditions to be improved in line with international standards and we want those people to be protected from violence.”

This is a position backed by Mr Rintoul, who also says asylum seekers should be moved to more humane conditions in Australia.

He says it is a travesty that on one hand Scott Morrison says he cannot guarantee safety for refugees, but still continues to maintain the detention centre.

“I think there is only one way that that massive contradiction can be resolved and that is for Manus Island to be closed.”