Papua New Guinea says will close down Australia-run migrant camp

Papua New Guinea's government said Wednesday it will close down the Manus Island detention centre following a ruling by the Supreme Court that found it to be unconstitutional.

"Respecting this ruling, Papua New Guinea will immediately ask the Australian government to make alternative arrangements for the asylum-seekers currently held at the regional processing centre," Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said in a statement.

The Australian-run camp for asylum-seekers and refugees breached the right to personal liberty of those detained and the arrangement was "outside the constitutional and legal framework in PNG," the court ruled Tuesday. 

Australia intercepts all migrants travelling by sea, and either turns them back or processes their asylum claims offshore in places such as Papua New Guinea and the Pacific island state of Nauru.

"For those that have been deemed to be legitimate refugees, we invite them to live in Papua New Guinea only if they want to be a part of our society and make a contribution to our community," O'Neill said.

"It is clear that several of these refugees do not want to settle in Papua New Guinea and that is their decision," he said Wednesday, according to local media.

Last update: Wed, 27/04/2016 - 11:10
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