Manus Regional Processing Centre

Escapee caught in Manus

Loui Efi has been on the run since January 4 has been caught. His accomplice Joshua Kaluvia of West New Britain province remains at large.

The two prisoners were serving a sentence of three years when they escaped from the Correctional Service facility at Lorengau.

Efi escaped on 4 January this year while Kaluvia escaped on 18 February last year. He remains at large.

Date to be set for refugees’ appeal

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia told Ben Lomai, the lawyer representing refugee Behrouz Boochani, to return to court on Friday (today) with certain court documents on the appeal before a hearing date can be set.

Lomai went to court on Wednesday with an application that he filed on November 14, asking the Chief Justice to disqualify himself from being part of that three-man Supreme Court bench that will hear that appeal.

Hillside Haus declared permanent detention site

Minister Petrus Thomas says: “By virtue of the powers conferred by Section 15(1)(b) and (2) of the Migration Act (Chapter 16), and all other powers enabling me, I declare Hillside Haus to be permanent places of detention.”

His declaration comes into effect on and from November 1, 2017.

Meanwhile, a total of 378 refugees still remain at the Manus Regional Processing Centre and refuse to move to the new camps.

The Royal PNG Constabulary reports: “Buses were provided all day to take the remaining 378 refugees to their new centres but they refused.

Manus issue: UN team gravely concerned

“We urge the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea to uphold their obligations under international human rights and refugee laws to respect the basic human rights of all persons concerned,” the team says in a statement.

It is reported that UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is monitoring the situation on the ground on Manus Island, and have found that: 

Refugees’ water tanks emptied

Officials entered Oscar and Delta compounds of the Manus detention and began emptying the tanks and turning over the water bins being used by refugees to collect rain water the last 10 days.

This has led to condemnation by the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Everyone in the tropics knows how precious water is and how quickly dehydration can become a serious medical issue. Denied water and with medical help sometimes delayed for hours, refugee lives are being put at risk,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. 

Refugee seeks leave to appeal

His lawyer, Ben Lomai, filed the appeal yesterday afternoon. The matter has been listed for next week Monday.

They will be seeking leave of the Supreme Court to appeal against the court’s refusal in granting the interim orders, namely the refusal to restrain the transfer of those at the decommissioned centre as well as restoring essential services.

Subject to the court’s grant of leave to appeal, the refugees are asking for the grant of the interim orders sought, which was refused on Tuesday.

Court’s decision does not alter inhumanity: Activist

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.

Manus issue: Immigration Minister acknowledges court’s ruling

He said the court found that the governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia agreed to close the Manus Regional Processing Centre on the 31st of October 2017, which is in compliance with the Supreme Court’s previous ruling in April 2016.

“The court stated that residents of the now decommissioned MRPC are required to vacate the MRPC and move into the new facilities provided which affords them the exercise of their constitutional rights.

PM cautions ‘ringleaders’ of Manus demonstration

“The Manus Centre was established for the sole reason of processing asylum claims, now all claims have been processed and the centre has closed,” PM O’Neill said.

“The centre will not be reopened and it will be returned to its former function as a Defence Force facility.

“Given the Supreme Court’s decision, the Government has no choice but to intervene for the wellbeing of both the refugees and non-refugees.

Manus residents bringing refugees food

Royal PNG Constabulary director media, Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, said: “Most refugees and asylum seekers are still at the centre at Manus Regional Processing Centre and do not want to move to their new locations, despite water and power being disconnected as well as no food supply to them.”

However, he said the Police on Manus have intercepted locals using boats to transport food to the refugees at the Centre.

“They were strongly warned no to do so again and released,” said Kakas.