Refugees to seek order to prevent closure

Transferees at the Manus Regional Processing Centre, which will be closed tomorrow, will be filing a Supreme Court application seeking an order to prevent its closure.

Lawyer for the transferees Ben Lomai said the state was served section 5 notice today (Monday).

“We have served Section 5 Notice on the State this afternoon. The applications will be filed tomorrow (Tuesday) morning,” he said.

Kurdish-Iran journalist Behrouz Boochani tweeted on social media that he was one of those in Lorengau who filed affidavits today supporting the Supreme Court application, which will be filed on Tuesday seeking injunctive orders.

“We hope our lawyers prevent the government (sic) taking refugees out by force & cutting water,” he tweeted.

The Supreme Court application will seek orders to prevent the closure of the centre and restore all services like food, water and electricity, which will be withdrawn come Tuesday 31 Oct.

It will be a race against time for them to file and obtain a judge to hear the urgent application tomorrow, which is also the closure date for the centre at Lombrum.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Petrus Thomas, said in a statement out of the 1,550 asylum seekers transferred to PNG, 610 have been assessed and determined to be refugees and 201 are non-refugees.

598 of those transferred have returned voluntarily and 7 non-refugees have been deported, while 5 have died whilst in PNG.

(Picture: Refugees in a peaceful protest march which is now on day 90 – Picture: Human Rights Watch)

Sally Pokiton