Weekly media wrap - 2 May 2016

Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled the detention of 850 asylum seekers on Manus Island unconstitutional, however the PNG government will not shut down the detention centre immediately. Following the decision, lawyer Ben Lomai outlined his intention to ask for compensation from the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments on behalf of men illegally detained.

Immigration minister Peter Dutton said the men are PNG’s responsibility and that Australia will help resolve the issue, suggesting an open centre arrangement or transfer to Nauru. Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull restated the Government’s position that the approximately 900 men there will not be resettled in Australia. New Zealand Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse reiterated New Zealand’s offer to take 150 refugees from offshore detention centres.

Omid, an Iranian refugee on Nauru self-immolated in protest in front of visiting United Nations representatives. He suffered third degree burns to 80% of his body, was transferred to Brisbane and later passed away.

Four Labor MPs called for the asylum seekers on Manus Island to be processed and settled in Australia. Labor’s policy to support offshore processing was agreed upon at the party’s annual conference in 2015.

Young Liberty for Law Reform released a report recommending that section 6 of the Australian Border Force Act – the secrecy provisions – be repealed. The report included testimony from detention centre workers whose careers and personal lives had been damaged through speaking out about the centres’ conditions.