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Pakistani Refugee Drowns at Waterfall

A Pakistani refugee detained at the Australian offshore immigration centre on Manus Island drowned on Tuesday at a waterfall.

Locals say the 33-year-old refugee named Kamil Hussain, reportedly went missing at around 4pm at the waterfall, and his body was found two hours later after a search was conducted by police and locals.

The waterfall located at Rossun Village near the main township, has become a favourite recreational spot for the refugees who, since the Supreme Court ruling in April determining the detention centre as illegal, have been given more freedom to move around on the island.

The refugee resided at the detention centre at the Lombrum Naval Base with his wife and daughter and was released for the day on a recreational day-trip-pass.

Local police said the deceased was accompanied to the waterfall to swim by a group of fellow refugees who raised the alarm when he failed to return to the group after two hours.

Lorengau Provincial Police Commander, David Yapu, said police and locals conducted a search and the body was found underwater two hours later, caught between rocks.

He says, considering geography, it is questionable whether the deceased knew how to swim.

Yapu says it is believed the deceased died in a tragic drowning, however for lack of eyewitnesses of the actual drowning, police are treating it as a suspicious case and will conduct a thorough investigation.

He says the refugees are foreigners to the land and are unfamiliar with the locality, allowing them to roam freely on the island is a cause for concern as portrayed by the tragic incident.

He appealed to the responsible authorities to confine the refugees for their own safety, until an amicable agreement is reached.

After the Supreme Court found the detention of asylum seekers illegal in April, moves were made to allow more freedom of movement for all asylum seekers, including daily trips to and fro town.

The body of the deceased is currently at the Lorengau Hospital Morgue, pending a scheduled post mortem tomorrow.

Australian authorities are aware of the incident and is working alongside police.

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