14 Nov 2017

PNG police hint that Manus eviction coming soon

12:26 pm on 14 November 2017

The police chief on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island has hinted that the PNG Defence Force could soon evict refugees occupying the former detention centre.

Daily protest 99, 7-11-17

Photo: Supplied

Some 400 refugees are refusing to leave the centre on the island's naval base, saying they want to be resettled in a safe country.

Police chief David Yapu said about 180 refugees had left the protest since it began two weeks ago.

But he said none of the refugees agreed to move yesterday to alternative facilities in the island's main town.

"To us as authority it is something that is frustrating because we are still waiting for the reallocation of the land and that will entirely become the property of the PNG Defence Force and they will have the control. If the PNG Defence Force takes over the land, that's when the people will have to leave."

Mr Yapu said he had complied with orders not to use force to move the men but he's now seeking directives on the next course of action.

Lawyer wants PNG chief justice disqualified from case

Lawyer Ben Lomai, who represents Manus Island refugees, said he would file an application next week to disqualify the chief justice of the PNG supreme court from presiding over the refugees' case.

Mr Lomai said he applied for an order from the court yesterday to allow him to inspect alternative facilities for the refugees in the island's main town.

Personnel from the PNG immigration department inside the detention centre.

Personnel from the PNG immigration department inside the detention centre. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

Dr Lomai said the judge questioned the competency of the application, leading him to suspect the PNG government had interfered with the judiciary.

"We need an urgent solution to it, whether legal or political. And, you know, we trust the court to intervene on the basis that we're dealing with human rights. And he's created the situation where he's procrastinating the application. So I'm just suspecting, whose interests is he trying to protecting? Is it the Australians, is it the immigration, or is it the asylum seekers?"

Dr Lomai said his application to disqualify the chief justice will be heard next Wednesday.

Australian Senate may debate NZ Manus offer

Australian Greens Senator Nick McKim is filing a motion in the Senate calling on the Australian prime minister to accept New Zealand's offer to take refugees from Manus.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at APEC.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at APEC. Photo: AFP / APEC 2017 National Committee

New Zealand 's prime minister Jacinda Ardern said she would again raise New Zealand's offer to take 150 refugees from the PNG island and Nauru when she meets her Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull this week.

The pair are attending the East Asia Summit in the Philippines this week.

Mr Turnbull had repeatedly turned down New Zealand's offer.

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