PNG officials to respond next week on refugee statements

1:05 pm on 26 July 2016

Papua New Guinea immigration officials have been given until Monday next week to respond to five refugee statements filed in the Supreme Court.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The statements from more than 200 refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island outlined their intentions not to accept resettlement in PNG.

The claims, filed by lawyer Ben Lomai, are being dealt with as a test case and EMTV reports that if successful, they will be applied to other refugees not wanting to settle in PNG.

Protest by refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island.

Protest by refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island. Photo: Supplied

The PNG Supreme Court ruled three months ago that the detention of asylum seekers and refugees at the camp run by Australia was unconstitutional.

Mr Lomai told EMTV that the refugees are still detained and he's concerned about their future.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

He says they have been deprived of their rights and liberty.

He has filed two applications with the Supreme Court for them to be returned to Australia, but these applications are on hold, pending the processing of the asylum seekers to determine whether they are legitimate refugees.

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