Asylum Seekers

Greens push for immediate evacuation of remaining asylum seekers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea

Key points:

  • The Greens will introduce a bill offering temporary resettlement for about 150 asylum seekers
  • They say the government could support the bill without compromising on its immigration policy
  • The move comes ahead of a visit by refugee Behrouz Boochani to parliament this week

The bill would offer roughly 150 people who are still in Nauru and PNG to temporarily live in the community in Australia until they are resettled to a third country, as long as there have been no adverse security assessments made against them.

Peaceful protest request refused

The Manus Development Forum had written a letter to the provincial police commander’s office to seek approval for them to host a peaceful walk from Ward 2 to Lorengau town main market.

The purpose of the peaceful walk is to call for an urgent humanitarian evacuation of all refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island.

PPC Manus Chief Inspector David Yapu refused to grant the request due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Refugees’ class action dismissed

Ben Lomai, who acts for the 730 applicants, said his clients now have two options, either to file a case in the National Court seeking damages or file a slip rule application.

They believe the Supreme Court made an error.

The group of refugees and asylum seekers, led by Behrouz Boochani on 7 November, 2016, filed an application for the enforcement of their constitutional rights (section 57 of the Constitution) and unlawful transfer and detention in Manus, after the Supreme Court ruled on 26 April, 2016, that their detention since 2013 was unlawful.

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.

Refugee application adjourned

The application briefly came before Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia today before it was adjourned to next Wednesday for directions.

The application was filed by way of an appeal against the court’s decision on November 7, where the court refused to grant orders restoring services at the decommissioned site and prevent the refugees’ forceful removal.

However, the Chief Justice questioned the mode in which the application was filed.

Misreporting on Manus situation: Australia

The department has released the following as facts.

"In April 2017, the PNG Government confirmed its commitment to close its Manus Regional Processing Centre (RPC),” says the Department.

"For the seven months until October 2017, the Department assisted the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority (ICSA) to gradually decommission the RPC by transitioning services to alternative locations.

UNCT on Asylum Seekers

This comes after reports of the withdrawal of all essential services has been carried out at the Regional Processing Centre (on Manus Island) on the 1st of November 2017.

The closure of RPC has resulted in more than 600 refugees, asylum seekers, and other related categories of persons, under the responsibility of the PNG and Australian Government, left without food, water, electricity and security, which are essential elements of their rights to an adequate standard of living, inherent dignity and right to life.

​Asylum seeker begs to be returned to Australia

“We are not happy to settle here and so I beg to you and your government to do something. Four years we have had enough of being kept as prisoners. We didn’t do any wrong,” he said when requesting his identity to remain unknown in this report.

In an interview with Loop PNG in Port Moresby with his lawyer, the Iranian, who refused to undergo interviews for the processing of his status while in Manus, said they are not happy with plans to have them resettled here.

​Chief: Refugees in POM will return to Manus

More than 90 refugees and asylum seekers have been transferred to Port Moresby since the dismantling of the Manus centre commenced. Some believe they will not return and be resettled in Port Moresby instead.

But Kantha said they were sent to Port Moresby for medical assistance.

“Given the pressure on the Lorengau Hospital, we are working to see how best their medical needs can be supported.

“No one from the medical transfers will be settled in Port Moresby or anywhere else. Only refugees with a visa and job placement can be considered for settlement,” he said.