Court requests list of asylum seekers

The Supreme Court has asked the Chief Migration and Immigration Minister to produce a list of all asylum seekers who were brought to Manus to be processed.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia told lawyer representing the Chief Migration officer and Minister for Immigration, Laias Kandi, to produce a list of all transferees to Manus. The list should indicate their names, individual status of each transferee and also the date they arrived in Manus.

The instructions came from the Chief Justice as a way forward to see if any steps have been taken in adhering to court orders issued on April 26, which was in the Namah-filed Supreme Court reference regarding the regional processing centre.

Kandi told the court that transferees are no longer kept in detention and have been allowed to move around, into town and in between the two centres in Manus. However, he was unable to confirm how many are still in Manus.

Three groups of transferees are currently in Manus. Those who have been processed and found to be genuine refugees, those Kandi described as ‘stateless persons’ with no proper identification documents and are still undergoing processing and those found to be non-refugees.

Sir Salamo instructed Kandi to produce a list to the court when the matter returns on June 28. “Every one of these persons will have to be accounted for as an individual,” he said.

The instructions came after the Court granted an application sought by the asylum seekers lawyer, Ben Lomai, to have them be joined in the proceeding SCA 84 of 2013 which was filed by Belden Namah.

On April 26, a five-man bench consisting of Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, Justices Sir Bernard Sakora, Ambeng Kandakasi, Don Sawong and Terence Higgins found that the detention of the transferees in Manus was unconstitutional and illegal.

The full court also issued an order for both Australia and Papua New Guinea governments to take all necessary steps to cease the operations of the centre in Manus. This was after it ruled that the detention breached the right to personal liberty in the Constitution.

(Picture source: Radio NZ)

Sally Pokiton