Can­berra ig­nores PNG court, rules out re­turn of de­tainees

Fiji Sun - - World News -

Can­berra:

Aus­tralia’s Prime Min­is­ter, Mal­colm Turn­bull, has re­it­er­ated that none of the peo­ple it de­tains in Pa­pua New Guinea il­le­gally will be al­lowed to en­ter Aus­tralia. Two weeks ago, PNG’s Supreme Court ruled that Can­berra’s de­ten­tion of hun­dreds of refugees and asy­lum seek­ers on Manus Is­land since 2013 was un­con­sti­tu­tional.

How­ever, Aus­tralia has to date failed to act on the rul­ing, sug­gest­ing its de­tainees are PNG’s con­cern. In a ra­dio in­ter­view, Mr Turn­bull said his govern­ment was in talks with Cam­bo­dia and other un­spec­i­fied coun­tries in ef­forts to find a home for the de­tainees. He con­firmed that he had been in talks with New Zealand which of­fered his and pre­vi­ous Aus­tralian gov­ern­ments to take 300 of the refugees. But Mr Turn­bull said set­tle­ment in a coun­try like New Zealand would be seen as a mar­ket­ing op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple smug­glers. Last week, the United Na­tions Refugee Agency called for the im­me­di­ate trans­fer of de­tainees out of the Aus­tralian­run de­ten­tion camp. PNG said it would close the camp but gave no date.

RNZI

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