It is thought that a group of around 400 men - the majority of whom have refugee status - are now refusing to leave the facility, in defiance of Australian orders that they are relocated from the camp.
Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is interned on Manus Island, wrote on Twitter that the men had been "struggling with starvation" since refusing to leave the camp when it was declared closed two weeks ago.
The people in the detention centre are now threatened with being forcibly moved by the PNG army and police to incomplete accommodation in a nearby town, Peace Action Wellington says. The refugees want a long-term solution, they do not want to move to another prison - they want freedom.
The agency has urged both PNG and Australia to find a "humane approach" to end the "unconscionable human suffering".
The goal of the protest was to prevent anyone inside from leaving, Peace Action Wellington spokeswoman Emma Cullen said.
Now there are more than 400 refugees who have barricaded themselves in the mothballed Manus Island detention centre fearing they'll be attacked by locals if they're moved by Papua New Guinean authorities to alternative accommodation. This has caused local unrest, as the lives of Manus Islanders have been disrupted by the centres.
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The U.N. has allegedly warned the stand-off is a "looming humanitarian crisis".
But after Australia withdrew its support for the camp, control is going back to the PNG government.
Their intention was to make staff at Australia's High Commission acknowledge and question their government's actions, spokeswoman Emma Cullen said. These refugees and asylum seekers have the right to be evacuated and resettled somewhere where seeking asylum is acknowledged and they will be welcomed into the community.
"Australia has illegally detained these asylum-seekers for years now, and now they've essentially abandoned them and they've got no food, no water, no medicine, and no power". They say they are afraid of violent reprisals by the island's residents. The Papua New Guinean Supreme Court ruled the detention centre illegal in 2016 because it breached the asylum seekers' fundamental human rights, which is why it is now being closed.
Ms Adern on the weekend blasted Australia's handling of the issue as unacceptable as she continues to to push New Zealand's offer to accept 150 refugees and asylum seekers from Australia's offshore detention centres.