Asylum seekers report mixed feelings on court ruling

Asylum seekers in Manus are having mixed feelings following the Supreme Court ruling yesterday that found that the establishment of the centre was unconstitutional and illegal.

Speaking through their lawyer Ben Lomai, the detainees said they are happy with the decision but at the same time, have mixed feelings over what will happen to them.

He said those at the facilities at Lombrum and Lorengau East do not know what will happen to them; whether they will go to Australia, Nauru or get a transfer to a third country.

Lomai said the order of the decision that was handed down by the high court was very general and he will be going back to court to seek specific orders for his clients.

He has filed an application before the same court seeking specific orders from the Supreme Court to send all the asylum seekers back to Australia.

“We will ask the Supreme Court to send these people back; they are not PNG’s problem. They are Australia’s problem, so they have to deal with their own problem,” Lomai said.

“So I told them that because of the generality of the order, I am going to run back to the Supreme Court and ask the SC to make specific orders and that is to release all the Asylum seekers and send them back to Australia. We can deal with the assessment for their compensation later on,” he added.

He said detainees at both Lombrum and Lorengau East total 850 with 400 being issued refugee status.



Sally Pokiton