Government to implement court orders on refugees

​The Government will be implementing the Supreme Court decision regarding the asylum seekers’ refugee camp in Manus, says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Speaking at the famous radio talk-back show this morning, O’Neill said his government took the honour to support the refugee camp in Manus because PNG has an obligation to fulfill as one of the member of the regional countries in the Pacific.

He said government officials from both Australia and PNG have been in discussions regarding the issue for the past weeks in Port Moresby and Cairns.

However, O’Neill said he is yet to be briefed on their discussions.

The government has no choice but to implement the Supreme Court orders which specifically highlight the issue of liberty enshrined in our constitution.

O’Neill said his main concern now is the loss of job in Manus which the centre has provided for the local people and the ongoing infrastructure project that will boost the local economy.

He said the officials may be going back to court to ask for clarity in the orders but that is yet to be confirmed.

The Supreme Court ruled on April 26, 2016, that Australia's detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is illegal.

The five-man bench of the court ruled the detention breached the right to personal liberty in the PNG constitution.

There are 850 men in the detention centre on Manus Island, about half of whom have been found to be refugees.

The Supreme Court has ordered the PNG and Australian governments to immediately take steps to end the detention of asylum seekers in PNG.

The Supreme Court decision means that both groups — refugees and asylum-seekers — are being illegally detained, because their freedom of movement is curtailed.

Freddy Mou