More questions about asylum seekers on Manus

8:47 am on 21 April 2016
Detainees on Manus Island

Detainees on Manus Island Photo: AAP

More questions have emerged over the Papua New Guinea Immigration department's refugee assessments at the Manus Island asylum seeker processing centre.

The Refugee Action Coalition said there are around 60 asylum seekers on Manus Island who have consistently refused to make an application to the PNG government for protection.

The Coalition said the asylum seekers were transferred by Australia to PNG against their will; and that any assessment in PNG does not have legitimacy.

45 of the group who have not made an application, have now been given a negative refugee assessment despite never having made an application.

One who had been found to be a refugee is a dissident Iranian journalist, Behrouz Boochani, who had been adopted by the international writers association, PEN, as a political prisoner detained by Australia.

PNG lawyers are seeking to raise the issue at today's hearing in regard to the Supreme Court challenge to the Manus offshore processing centre.

The Coalition claims the constitutional challenge appears to have prompted hasty organisational changes such as attempting to separate refugees from asylum seekers with negative decisions inside on Manus.

Meanwhile, PNG Immigration claims that 68 people have left the Manus processing centre to undertake training to prepare for life in PNG, and that seven of these have already started living elsewhere in PNG.

It says that in total, 481 people on Manus have been found to be refugees and eligible for settlement in PNG.

A further 465 asylum seekers are currently having their claims assessed by PNG Immigration.

The government has indicated it is looking to conclude assessments by mid-year.