Category : Asylum Seeker
Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court has ruled Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is illegal.
The five-man bench of the court ruled the detention breached the right to personal liberty in the PNG constitution.
There are 850 men in the detention centre on Manus Island, about half of whom have been found to be refugees.
The Supreme Court has ordered the PNG and Australian Governments to immediately take steps to end the detention of asylum seekers in PNG.
“Both the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments shall forthwith take all steps necessary to cease and prevent the continued unconstitutional and illegal detention of the asylum seekers or transferees at the relocation centre on Manus Island and the continued breach of the asylum seekers or transferees constitutional and human rights,” the judges ordered.
In one of two lead judgments, Justice Terence Higgins said the detention also breached asylum seekers’ fundamental human rights guaranteed by various conventions on human rights at international law and under the PNG constitution.
“Treating those required to remain in the relocation centre as prisoners irrespective of their circumstances or status … is to offend against their rights and freedoms,” Judge Higgins said.