Reacting to news that Australia and Papua New Guinea have begun deporting men from the controversial Manus Island detention facility, Kate Schuetze, Amnesty Australia’s Refugee Researcher, said:
“No asylum-seeker should be arrested or deported until they have been given a fair opportunity to present their case for asylum. To do so creates a serious risk that Papua New Guinea and Australia are breaching their international obligations.
“Asylum-seekers have been assessed under a process that lacks credibility and procedural fairness. Some asylum-seekers have been denied the right to present evidence in support of their claims and others have been denied the right to appeal their decisions because of gaps in Papua New Guinea law.
“In addition, there is no clear protection framework for those who are at risk of serious violation of their rights if they are returned to their countries of origin.”
Nine Bangladeshi asylum-seekers have been taken into custody in Papua New Guinea by Australian and PNG officials, and are awaiting possible deportation. Some were arrested today, while others were taken to Bomana Prison in Port Moresby last week.