FKN YES: Manus Island Detention Centre To Shut Down After PNG Ruling


The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has announced that the Manus Island Detention Centre will close.

Yesterday, PNG’s Supreme Court ruled that Australia‘s detention of asylum seekers on the island was illegal, a definition that encompassed both refugees and asylum seekers (the differing terms relating to whether or not their refugee application was successful).

The Supreme Court ordered both the PNG and Australian governments to take immediate action to remove the 850 people detained on Manus Island, and, yep, PNG has beaten us.

“Respecting this ruling, Papua New Guinea will immediately ask the Australian government to make alternative arrangements for the asylum seekers currently held at the Regional Processing Centre,” PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said in a statement.

No word yet from the Australian government in general and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton in particular, but yesterday he said in a statement that the Supreme Court’s ruling “does not alter Australia’s border protection policies– they remain unchanged. No one who attempts to travel to Australia illegally by boat will settle in Australia.”

Instead, Dutton said that those in the detention centre who were found to be refugees (at the moment, about half) would be able to resettle in PNG, while those found not to be refugees should return to their country of origin.
We’ll keep you updated.

Photo: Getty Images News.