26 Sep 2006

Papuan seeks to fight deportation order in Vanuatu

7:48 am on 26 September 2006

The lawyer for a Papuan activist facing deportation from Vanuatu says his client should have a chance to defend himself against allegations central to his deportation.

The Papuan activist Andy Ayamiseba's appeal case against his deportation order begins today in the Court of Appeal.

In April Vanuatu's Supreme Court upheld a government order to deport Mr Ayamiseba after the Minister for Internal Affairs ruled him a risk to national security in February.

The deportation order was made under a recent amendment to the Immigration Act, giving ministerial power to deport anyone without notice.

But Mr Ayamiseba's lawyer, Felix Laumae Kabini says it should be first proved that his client is a risk to national security before they deport him.

"The amendment is only to do with the removal, but has nothing to do with the right, the right to be heard. The Minister is still obliged by the Principal section to hear Andy on his part of those allegations made against him."