Pakistan to repatriate body from Manus

By Lisa Martin
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Drowned refugee to be buried on Manus

Refugees on Manus Island want the body of a Pakistani man who drowned to be repatriated.

Pakistan has agreed to repatriate the body of a man who drowned on Manus Island, an Australian refugee advocate says.

Papua New Guinean authorities had given refugees and asylum seekers a week to come up with arrangements and thousands of dollars to repatriate the body of Kamil Hussain, 33, who died this week at a waterfall on the island.

Australia's immigration department insists that funeral arrangements for asylum seekers and refugees who die in PNG are a matter for the PNG government.

"The department is aware that the PNG government has made contact with the deceased person's next of kin and that local arrangements are being made for his burial," a spokesman said in a statement.

Refugees were upset with the prospect of a funeral on the island.

But the Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul said on Friday night that the Pakistan's Australian embassy had agreed to take responsibility for the body to be repatriated to Pakistan.

"A letter from the Pakistan embassy has been sent to the Australian and PNG immigration offices notifying them that they will organise for Kamil's body to be sent home," Mr Rintoul said in a statement.

"The embassy has also notified PNG immigration that they will cover the costs of flying the body home and will cover any costs associated with maintaining the body on Manus Island."