Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the United States will resettle some of the asylum seekers currently being held in Australia’s offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island. Turnbull stated that this will be a ‘one off’ deal and priority will be given to the ‘most vulnerable which are family units’. American officials will begin assessing refugees in the next few days. The US resettlement deal is one of several that the government is reportedly working on.
731 asylum seekers held on Manus Island filed a claim against the Papua New Guinea Government. They are seeking enforcement of the April decision by the PNG Supreme Court that the detention centre on Manus is unconstitutional and should be shut down. They are further requesting monetary compensation for breach of their constitutional rights. The court rejected an earlier similar claim because it was not signed by the asylum seekers themselves, but by their legal representation.
Wilson Security, the firm contracted by the Australian Government to protect asylum seekers in offshore detention centres, admitted that it has not passed on all incident records from the Nauru centre to the immigration department. A submission by Wilson to the Senate inquiry into serious incidents on Nauru noted that the company ‘did not disclose reports that it designated as “information reports” to the department’.
On Q&A, Canadian journalist Naomi Klein called Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers ‘shocking’ and an ‘atrocity’. Klein likened Australia’s policies to several of Donald Trump’s election proposals.