Another death on Manus
Another person detained by the Australian government in an off-shore has died. Earlier this week a Pakistani man drowned on Manus.
There has been another death of a person detained in an Australian detention centre. 34 year old Kamil Hussain died earlier this week whilst swimming.
There are approximately 900 men detained on Manus Island and approximately half of them have had their applications for asylum processed and recognised officially as 'refugees'. However, under Australia's 'turn back the boat' policy, no person arriving by boat to seek asylum is allowed to settle in Australia. The people who are thus 'recognised' as refugees are allowed to leave the main detention centre but are instead housed at a transit centre in Manus.
Kamil Hussain's application for asylum had been approved, he had been given a 'positive refugee status' and PNG tv states he was living with his wife and daughter at the transit centre at Lorengau Naval Base. He was living in a state of limbo - a recognised refugee, but unable to settle in a place to make a new home.
For people who have had their applications for asylum refused, they are detained indefinitely in the main detention centre on Manus - their only other option under current Australian policy is to return to the place that they were fleeing.
All people detained on Manus, and Nauru, are living in a state of limbo created by Australian policy to turn back the boats.
Supreme Court rulings over recent months have said detention on Manus was illegal. The court ruled that people had been unlawfully transferred from Australia and that that there was no lawful basis to detain them in PNG. Since that court case those people who have been found to be refugees are now allowed to leave the detention centre and live in a transit centre closer to the main town.
A decision was meant to be handed down by the PNG Supreme Court on 25 July how to release those people detained in the centres on Manus, instead however the court has asked that the person who is actually in charge of the detention centres be found and to appear in court so that there can be "an indication as to what position Australia will take in relations to the proposal for resettlement."
Manus has been used as a detention centre by Australia since November 2012. At first it was known as a 'processing centre' but since mid-2013, when the Australian government began practising not only mandatory detention but also mandatory exclusion of asylum seekers who travel to Australia by boat, it really is just a detention centre. For a background to Australian policy, read this article: http://www.indymedia.org.nz/articles/673