Ruling about Manus being closed confounds

2:37 pm on 14 March 2017

The Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea has found that the regional processing centre for asylum seekers on Manus Island is closed.

Manus Island detention centre

The Manus Island detention centre. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

The court has been seeking direction on compliance by the governments of PNG and Australia with its ruling last April that holding around 900 men there against their will was illegal.

Accepting a submission from PNG's government, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia stated the centre had been closed and that refugees and asylum seekers on Manus were now accommodated at the naval base the centre was built on.

However Manus MP Ron Knight found the ruling bizarre because not much has changed at the centre.

Ron Knight said although the gates of the centre were now open, the men were still stuck there and were unable to leave of their own free will.

The Chief Justice's finding comes as the PNG Government said the centre would be closed by the end of October this year.

According to the ABC, PNG Ministers told an Australian government delegation last week they wanted the centre closed by the end of October and asked for Australia's help in dealing with refugees who might not be resettled in a deal with the United States.

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