Refugees have strong dam­ages case, says lawyer

Fiji Sun - - World News - Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

Port Moresby: The lawyer who suc­cess­fully ar­gued the Manus Is­land de­ten­tion cen­tre in Pa­pua New Guinea was il­le­gal says the refugees have a strong case if they wish to sue for dam­ages. Loani He­nao said the 850 peo­ple were im­pris­oned in­def­i­nitely, against PNG law and in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights de­crees. The Supreme Court ruled on Tues­day that Aus­tralia’s off­shore pro­cess­ing cen­tre on the is­land was un­con­sti­tu­tional, and or­dered the govern­ment to close it im­me­di­ately. Mr He­nao said he thinks the refugees had a clear le­gal av­enue to bring a dam­ages case against the govern­ment. “Their hu­man rights have se­ri­ously been breached and they are en­ti­tled to some form of com­pen­sa­tion and it will be a mat­ter for the asy­lum seek­ers to un­der­take any cause, or I’m al­most cer­tain that there would be peo­ple, lawyers in PNG, who would be in­ter­ested to take up that course of ac­tion.” RNZI

Loani He­nao

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