Manus asylum seekers

Refugees' claim against state stays

A three-man Supreme Court bench refused and dismissed an application by the state, which asked the court to dismiss the claim, alleging it was filed outside the required six month period.

On November 4, 2016, the 731 applicants gave the state notice of their intention to make a claim against it, pursuant to section 5 of the Claims By and Against the State Act 1996.

Remaining asylum seekers moved

The Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Petrus Thomas, said in a statement that the remaining lot were moved with the assistance of immigration officials and police on November 24.

“I would like to thank the refugees and non-refugees for moving for the best interest of their health and well-being,” says Thomas.

“Immigration will work closely with the service providers at the new facilities to ensure that the basic needs and concerns of these people are catered for.

Date set for refugees’ appeal hearing

The Supreme Court today fixed the hearing date for December 15, the week that will be the last Supreme Court sitting for the year.

This appeal was filed over the single Supreme Court judge's decision of November 7 that refused interim orders, sought by Boochani, for the restoration of services at the decommissioned Regional Processing Centre in Lombrum.

The court refused the order mainly because alternate facilities on Manus also provided the essential service which the refugees were seeking restoration of.

Church pleads for asylum seekers

Speaking on behalf of the Church, general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands, Fr Victor Roche, says a well-off country like Australia should show compassion and welcome some of the refugees.

Fr Victor was recently in Manus where he was allowed into the Lombrum naval base.

He experienced firsthand how the remaining 300-plus asylum seekers were managing themselves after the closure.

Date to be set for refugees’ appeal

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia told Ben Lomai, the lawyer representing refugee Behrouz Boochani, to return to court on Friday (today) with certain court documents on the appeal before a hearing date can be set.

Lomai went to court on Wednesday with an application that he filed on November 14, asking the Chief Justice to disqualify himself from being part of that three-man Supreme Court bench that will hear that appeal.

Police boss issues appeal to refugees at Lombrum

At these camps, they will not miss out on anything, says Commissioner Baki.

“A total of 50 people were peacefully relocated from the Lombrum based Regional Processing Centre to either of the two recently declared immigration centres on Manus Island,” he states.

“Of this number, 36 non-refugees and 13 refugees left voluntarily after being briefed and convinced by PNG Government officials whilst one Kurdish journalist, Behrouz Boochani, was escorted out of the centre by government officials.

Police: Refugee was moved, not arrested

Reports of Boochani’s alleged arrest were shared on social media from refugees and asylum seekers at Lombrum, just before lunch today.

It was even reported by various international media organisations.   

However, Manus Provincial Police Commander Chief Inspector David Yapu clarified with this newsroom that Boochani was taken by officials on a bus from the decommissioned site to the new site. 

He says Boochani was found hiding in a room and escorted into a bus.

Non-genuine refugees evacuated: Source

The evacuation was carried out by joint disciplinary forces at around 11am today.

The source told this newsroom that the operation went smoothly, with the non-genuine refugees cooperating well, albeit hesitantly.

He said instructions were given for the persons to be moved from the detention centre to the new location at Ward 1 in Lorengau.

He also revealed that after evacuating all non-genuine refugees, the genuine ones are expected to be moved anytime soon.

UNHCR urges Aust to protect refugees

A transcript revealed by Nai Jit Lam, UNHCR’s Deputy Regional Representative in Canberra (on mission to Manus Island) states that refugees are still facing humanitarian threats.

The UNHCR had appealed to Australia in October to stop a humanitarian emergency unfolding on Manus Island, where the closure of the Regional Processing Centre on 31 October and imminent discontinuation of critical services and support arrangements threaten safety and well-being of hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers who remain there in very difficult conditions.

Woman leader disputes negative portrayal of Manus

Woman leader Lucielle Paru expressed concern over the damaging image being showcased through the Manus asylum seekers situation.

“Within PNG, we know that we are wonderful people. But the way the international people keep stressing that Manus is full of violence and the asylum seekers are unsafe around Lorengau, or anywhere within Manus, is really, really bad,” says Paru.

Paru points out that though the asylum seekers do not have access to food and water at the detention centre, Manus locals have stepped in to help.