Weekly media wrap - 16 May 2016

Papua New Guinea’s immigration department announced that ‘no asylum seeker or refugee is in detention’, as they are able to leave the Manus Island centre during the day. They must then return to camp in the evening. Lawyers representing the Manus Island detainees asked the Supreme Court to hasten their compensation claims for illegal detention. They are requesting $462.75 for each day they were held illegally.

On Nauru, a 26 year-old Bangladeshi refugee died after suffering a series of heart attacks. There are reports from other asylum seekers that he had consumed a large number of pills before he admitted himself to hospital on Friday with chest pains, but these reports could not be confirmed. More than 100 refugees who have been in Nauru for three years signed a letter to the Australian government asking to be allowed to board boats to seek asylum in new countries.

Naima Ahmed, a 22 year-old Somali refugee, was evacuated from Nauru to the Royal Brisbane Hospital and placed on life support, following an emergency caesarean section performed in Nauru. She and her baby were airlifted on separate planes. Immigration minister Peter Dutton reiterated that the woman had received appropriate care in Nauru and that $11 million had been spent on upgrading the facilities there.

Peter Dutton will not appeal the federal court ruling that he breached his duty of care to asylum seeker, Abyan, who was flown to Papua New Guinea after she sought an abortion as a result of being raped in detention in Nauru.  Dutton is now legally required to fly Abyan to a country with the necessary medical expertise and equipment to safely perform an abortion.

Frontex, the EU’s border agency reported that there was a 90 per cent drop in the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece last month, attributing this to the EU agreement with Turkey to send back migrants arriving in Greece by boat. The Norwegian Refugee Council however, claimed that the refugees are beginning to choose a more dangerous route, Northern Africa to Italy, to seek European protection. They cited the announcement by Italian coastguards that 801 migrants were rescued from boats off the coast of Western Sicily, many of them from Syria, as evidence.