PNG woman killed after Manus Island refugee crashes car
A Papua New Guinean woman has died after a refugee crashed a car on Manus Island.
Manus Island police said the 18-year-old woman was a passenger in the car, which was being driven by an Afghan refugee who did not hold a licence.
There were five people in the dual-cab ute when it left the island's main road and overturned, a few kilometres outside the main town of Lorengau, on June 13.
The refugee fractured his shoulder in the crash and was treated in hospital before being arrested and charged with dangerous driving causing death.
Manus province police commander David Yapu said another refugee who was in the car has also been charged with consuming alcohol in a vehicle and is in custody.
"They were on a drinking spree during the night up until the next day when they were involved in an accident," he said.
Chief Inspector Yapu said both refugees were being kept in custody partly to protect them from angry relatives of the deceased woman.
"This is our fear, that is the reason we have taken them into custody, both the driver and the other refugee," he said.
"We are being kept on alert in the event the relatives attack those refugees or even the other refugees.
"That is something that we are monitoring."
Refugees kept inside for fear of retaliation
Other refugees were kept inside their accommodation on the day of the accident for fear they would be attacked in retaliation for the woman's death.
Since the closure of the Manus Island detention centre in October 2017 and the payment of Australian Government compensation for illegal detention, a small number of refugees on Manus Island have purchased cars.
But because many still have not been issued identity documents, most do not have driving licences.
The refugee charged over the woman's death had been the victim of a vicious attack in Lorengau in April, when he was stabbed multiple times with a screwdriver.
Fellow refugees said he had been suffering from mental health problems.