May 5, 2016

Manus Island Asylum Seekers want K2b compensation for illegal detention

ASYLUM seekers at the Manus regional processing centre will seek an order from the Supreme Court for a compensation payment of about K2 billion for their illegal detention.
Lawyer Ben Lomai, who represents the asylum seekers in two court cases, told the The National yesterday that Australia would have to pay for the compensation given that it had agreed in the memorandum of understanding to pay for costs that related to offshore processing.
The Supreme Court last week ruled in favour of former Opposition leader Belden Namah’s submission and ordered that the detention of asylum seekers at the centre on Manus was in breach of the constitution.
Lomai explained that the K2 billion was computed from an earlier National Court case that ordered a base figure of K300 per day for human rights breaches.
“We are looking at that figure roughly between K1.8 million and K2 million per asylum seeker,” Lomai said.
“We will only compute the number of days they (asylum seekers) have stayed in the centre.”
Lomai said he had already filed documents for about 600 asylum seekers and would seek to join more to bring it to 900 but even that could increase.
He said the compensation amount depended on the number of days each asylum seeker had spent in the centre and the number of human rights breaches.  The National/ ONE PNG