21 Mar 2014

Asylum seekers despair evident to media in rare Manus visit

7:12 pm on 21 March 2014

The Australian asylum seeker detention centre on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island have been opened to the media to visit for the first time.

The facility is subject to an inquiry by the PNG National Court judge, David Cannings, who is investigating whether asylum seekers' basic human rights are being met.

Among those to visit the facility with Justice Cannings was our Papua New Guinea correspondent Todagia Kelola, who says that while the media weren't allowed to speak with the asylum seekers,

that didn't stop them airing their desperate concerns.

"The transferees, when they saw the judge they started calling him and complaining that, 'look, we've been here for months and when are our things going to be processed,' or, ' how long are we going to be here on Manus' and all that."

Todagia Kelola says the Inquiry has finished hearing evidence on Manus Island, and will continue in Port Moresby next week.