Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Manus Island regional processing facility,
photo by DIBP images
In April, the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court held that Australia's detention of asylum seekers on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island was unconstitutional.
Just this week, PNG's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill announced that Australia has agreed to close the facility, though not immediately. "A series of options are being advanced and implemented," O'Neill has said.
The announcement of the closure of the Manus Island detention center comes on the heels of startling revelations this week by The Guardian: thousands of leaked incident reports relating to Australia's refugee seekers detailing "assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living condition." (You can read the 8,000 pages of reports yourself at this link.)
It is still unclear where the Manus Island detainees will be resettled. Today, Australia's immigration minister, Peter Dutton, repeated his statements from April: "no one from Manus Island Regional Processing Centre will ever be settled in Australia. They may be relocated to another detention facility on Nauru or to a purpose-built detention center on Australia’s Christmas Island, which is about 1,600 miles NW of Australia.