Refugees

NZ aid for Manus refugees could benefit island's hospital

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised the money last the month after restating the offer to resettle 150 refugees from Australian offshore detention.

Deputy secretary Jeff Langley from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said there are a number of different ways the money could be channelled including to the Red Cross and other NGOs operating on the island.

He said the ministry is also talking to the Papua New Guinea government to identify needs created by the refugee population on the island.

Date set for refugees’ appeal hearing

The Supreme Court today fixed the hearing date for December 15, the week that will be the last Supreme Court sitting for the year.

This appeal was filed over the single Supreme Court judge's decision of November 7 that refused interim orders, sought by Boochani, for the restoration of services at the decommissioned Regional Processing Centre in Lombrum.

The court refused the order mainly because alternate facilities on Manus also provided the essential service which the refugees were seeking restoration of.

Church pleads for asylum seekers

Speaking on behalf of the Church, general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands, Fr Victor Roche, says a well-off country like Australia should show compassion and welcome some of the refugees.

Fr Victor was recently in Manus where he was allowed into the Lombrum naval base.

He experienced firsthand how the remaining 300-plus asylum seekers were managing themselves after the closure.

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.

Police boss issues appeal to refugees at Lombrum

At these camps, they will not miss out on anything, says Commissioner Baki.

“A total of 50 people were peacefully relocated from the Lombrum based Regional Processing Centre to either of the two recently declared immigration centres on Manus Island,” he states.

“Of this number, 36 non-refugees and 13 refugees left voluntarily after being briefed and convinced by PNG Government officials whilst one Kurdish journalist, Behrouz Boochani, was escorted out of the centre by government officials.

PNG police enter Manus asylum centre, Australia confirms

Hundreds of men have refused to leave the Manus Island centre since it was shut down on 31 October, citing fears for their safety.

On Thursday, multiple men inside the centre said that PNG police had given them a one-hour deadline to leave.

Australia said it was a PNG operation.

Under a controversial policy, Australia has detained asylum seekers who arrive by boat in camps on Manus Island and Nauru, a small Pacific nation.

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.

No attempts by refugees to leave: Police

According to the Royal PNG Constabulary, all buses were provided at the centre to transport them but the refugees refused to leave the MRPC.

The MRPC at Lombrum Naval base has been revoked by the Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Petrus Thomas, as permanent places of immigration detention. The minister has declared in the national gazette the new sites at hillside haus as permanent places for immigration detention.

Woman leader disputes negative portrayal of Manus

Woman leader Lucielle Paru expressed concern over the damaging image being showcased through the Manus asylum seekers situation.

“Within PNG, we know that we are wonderful people. But the way the international people keep stressing that Manus is full of violence and the asylum seekers are unsafe around Lorengau, or anywhere within Manus, is really, really bad,” says Paru.

Paru points out that though the asylum seekers do not have access to food and water at the detention centre, Manus locals have stepped in to help.

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: