Refugees seek prevention of transfer

Transferees at the former Manus Regional Processing Centre have filed a Supreme Court application.

It was filed yesterday afternoon (Oct 31) and is now awaiting listing before a judge to hear it.

As of 5pm yesterday, water and power supply was cut to the centre as it came to a close.

In this application, the refugees, led by Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani, are seeking orders to prevent their transfer to the East Lorengau Transit centre or other similar facilities, either in Manus or PNG, against their will.

They also seek orders in the application for the restoration of food, water and electricity to the Lombrum detention centre, where the applicants are currently residing.

They sought the orders on the grounds of possible outbreaks of violence in Lorengau, and over their safety.

They want to go to Australia and not be settled in PNG.

This morning Boochani tweeted on social media saying: “The situation is getting worse as power and water is cut. The refugees are gathering.

“They took generators this morning. There is no power in whole centre. The toilets do not work. All refugees woke up again in fear.

“People gathering in stress. Any time we expect that someone attack us.”

1,550 asylum seekers were transferred to PNG in 2013.

Out of that, 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.

(Behrouz Boochani picture of a peaceful protest at the centre)

Sally Pokiton