PNG court hears request for halt of refugee centre demolition

12:48 pm on 15 August 2017

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has heard a request from a lawyer representing Manus Island detainees for the demolition of Australia's detention centre to be stopped.

The Supreme Court in Papua New Guinea.

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

The Guardian reported that while seeking an adjournment on a compensation case, the lawyer Ben Lomai made the request of the government.

Without applying for an injuction, Mr Lomai said he asked for an undertaking that the centre would not be dismantled.

Mr Lomai said he told the court his clients were being traumatised by the actions of the PNG and Australian governments, trying to close the centre by October 31.

He said disruptions to the power and water supply had forced them to reside in inhumane conditions.

A lawyer for the immigration department, Robert Bradshaw, told the Guardian he had put the request to his client for consideration.

Meanwhile, the ABC reported US officials had returned to Manus Island to continue vetting detainees for possible resettlement in America.

About 700 of the roughly 900 male detainees given refugee status are thought to be eligible.

Yesterday, the men marked their 14th day of peaceful protests against the threat of resettlement in PNG.

The 14th day of protest at the Manus Island detention centre 14-8-17

The 14th day of protest at the Manus Island detention centre 14-8-17 Photo: Supplied

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