Immigration

Refugee lawyer to launch Manus appeal to restore centre amenities

Refugees at Manus Island detention centre, Papua New Guinea, linking hands in solidarity ahead of the centre's closure. Source: AAP

The PNG Supreme Court has rejected an attempt to restore electricity, medical care, food and water supplies to the mothballed Manus Island detention centre.

The lawyer for refugees barricading themselves in the mothballed detention centre on Manus Island will appeal a court decision in Papua New Guinea, that's rejected a bid to restore basic services.

Ben Lomai is representing the refugees and attempted to have electricity, food, medical care and water at the decommissioned centre reinstated on human rights grounds.

But the application, which would also have blocked PNG officials from forcibly evicting the 600 men inside the complex, was quashed in Port Moresby on Tuesday.

The judgment said Australia's legal responsibility for the future welfare of the asylum seekers ended with the closure of the detention centre.

"It falls squarely on the government of PNG to take responsibility over the future welfare of asylum seekers," it said.

However, the judgment also said refugees might be eligible for damages because of the government's "heavy-handed tactics" to force them out of the centre.

Mr Lomai is set to file an appeal on Wednesday.

It's now a week since the detention centre closed and as the inhabitants have run out of food and drinking water, they have been forced to dig holes for water and catch rain in containers.

 

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch