February 26, 2016
> Refuge Action Coalition
> MEDIA RELEASE
> ALMOST 300 MORE ASYLUM SEEKERS JOIN PNG CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE TO
> MANUS DETENTION
> PNG lawyer, Ben Lomai, will today (Friday, 2 February) file another
> 287 submissions from Manus Island asylum seekers to join them to a PNG
> Supreme Court constitutional challenge to the Manus Island detention
> centre and the denial of their human rights.
> This second tranche of submissions takes the total number of asylum
> seekers joined to the case to around 600.
> A third tranche is expected to be filed in March and will effectively
> mean all of the asylum seekers will be a party to the action to
> enforce their rights under the PNG constitution.
> Besides the constitutionality of the agreement to establish the
> detention centre, asylum seekers are seeking orders regarding their
> imprisonment without charge; being denied access to lawyers; denied
> due legal process; subjected to abuse and torture, etc.
> A ‘status conference’ on Monday 29 February in Port Moresby is
> expected to set a date for the Supreme Court hearing of the challenge.
> The constitutionality of the Memorandum of Understanding between PNG
> and Australia, that initially established the detention centre, is
> also being considered by the Supreme Court in a matter brought by the
> Opposition leader Beldan Nemah.
> A decision in that matter is expected to be handed down very soon.
> The PNG Constitutional Challenge has drawn a lot of attention in light
> of the recent Australian High Court decision finding that offshore
> detention on Nauru was legal under Australian law. That decision also
> affected 34 asylum seekers from Manus Island who were attached to the
> In the aftermath of the Australian High Court finding, a “Let Them
> Stay” campaign is demanding that the Turnbull government allow all 267
> asylum seekers attached to that court case be allowed to remain in
> For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713