PNG follows court ruling

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea immigration authorities have said asylum seekers and refugees are no longer in detention.

The country has altered restrictions at Australia’s offshore detention centre on Manus Island so detainees can leave the centre during the day.

PNG’s Immigration and Citizenship Advisory Service says this means the 898 men are no longer in detention, in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling last month.

“No asylum seeker or refugee is in detention,” Deputy Chief Migration Officer Esther Gaegaming said.

“We are continuing to work towards fully implementing the orders of the Supreme Court.”

PNG’s Supreme Court ruled on April 26 that detaining the men on Manus Island had breached their constitutional rights to personal liberty in Papua New Guinea.

The detainees on Manus Island say they now have the option to catch one of three buses into the main town each morning, but must sign agreements taking responsibility for their own safety.

They are not allowed to walk out of the centre, because it is on a PNG naval base.

They also say they may stay at an Immigration-run transit centre overnight. Refugee Behrouz Boochani said the changes had not allowed true freedom of movement.

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