Written by Staff Writer
26 Apr, 2016 | 1:41 pm
Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court has ruled Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is unconstitutional.
Australia sends asylum seekers to the Manus Island detention centre under its offshore processing policy.
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 been judged genuine refugees.
Papua New Guinea’s government had amended section 42 of the constitution in 2014, adding a paragraph that allowed for “holding a foreign national under arrangements made by Papua New Guinea with another country”.
Because the asylum seekers and refugees had not voluntarily entered Papua New Guinea, the situation of illegal immigration did not apply to them judgement says. Therefore the detention of the asylum seekers on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea … is unconstitutional and illegal.
The Supreme Court has also ordered the PNG and Australian governments to immediately take steps to end the detention of asylum seekers in PNG.
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