Manus Island detainees have written letters, gone on hunger strikes, and even sewn their lips shut to try and draw attention to their plight. Image via
It’s been two days since the Papua New Guinean Supreme Court ruled that asylum seekers are being illegally detained on Manus Island. We’re still no closer to knowing what that means for the 850 or so men still being held there.
The ruling focused on the breach of Section 42 of PNG’s constitution, which deals with guaranteed liberty. Basically, as these men haven’t committed any crime in PNG, it was deemed unconstitutional to keep them detained at all, let alone indefinitely. The court ordered both the PNG and Australian governments to “take all steps necessary to cease and prevent the continued detention of asylum seekers” at the Australian-administered Manus Island Refugee Processing Centre.
Back in mid-2015, when the Australian Government was facing a similar challenge in the High Court over the detention of people in Nauru, the Nauruan Government quickly made that detention centre “open door,” allowing asylum seekers to come and go as they pleased.
While such an arrangement would effectively remove the detention element that was at the centre of this week’s ruling in PNG, the Guardian reports it is unlikely to happen on Manus
Article source: http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/manus-island-peter-dutton-indefinite-detention-asylum-seeker-refugee-australia-papua-new-guinea-nauru
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