Court’s decision does not alter inhumanity: Activist

The decision of the PNG Supreme Court decision does not alter the inhumanity of the siege on Manus Island, nor alter the role of the Australian government, says an activist group.

The PNG Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to issue an injunction to restore immediately food, water and power to the Manus detention centre.

The Chief Justice found that while the applicant's (Behrouz Boochani) human rights may have been breached, damages rather than an injunction is the suitable remedy.

Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, says: "It does not alter the fact that Manus is unsafe, and settlement in PNG is impossible.

“The onus is still on the government to provide the safety and security that the refugees and asylum seekers need.

"They were unlawfully transported to PNG; they have been unlawfully held in detention. They must be immediately evacuated," said Rintoul.

"The Turnbull government will never live down what they have done on Manus. The refugee movement will do whatever we can to support and sustain the refugees inside the detention centre, and keep fighting for the government to bring them here."

However, PNG’s Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Petrus Thomas, states: “The court dismissed the application of the PNG-determined refugee, finding that he had chosen to remain behind in the closed MRPC and he has himself to blame for the hardships he is facing.”

Minister Thomas commended the ruling and for accepting the clear facts that the alternative accommodation sites for the refugees and non-refugees offer safe, reasonable and good quality accommodation, with access to basic services including medical and other necessities of life.

Refugee Action Coalition Sydney (RAC) is a community activist organisation campaigning for the rights of refugees in Australia since 1999.

(The entrance to one of the transit centres in Manus)

Related article:
Manus issue: Immigration Minister acknowledges court’s ruling

Press release