PNG's Supreme Court halts asylum seeker deportations

12:47 pm on 26 August 2015

Papua New Guinea's highest court has temporarily stopped the deportation of asylum seekers from the Australian detention centre on Manus Island.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The Supreme Court issued the temporary injunction late on Tuesday night after two Iranians whose bid for refugee status had been rejected were forcibly removed from the country last week.

The lawyer representing more than 300 asylum seekers, Ben Lomai, says at least three others also face imminent deportation after their applications were rejected.

Mr Lomai says the asylum seekers he is representing are challenging the constitutionality of their detention, and shouldn't be deported while their case is before the courts.

"They've been transferred to Manus Island against their will and that is a right under section 42 which basically deals with personal liberty. So that's part of the constitutional enforcement that we're seeking and we say that they have a case to be heard here and they should not be deported back to their countries of origin."

Ben Lomai says he will return to the Supreme Court tomorrow to argue for a permanent injunction.