PNG uses ruse to open Bomana prison detention centre

Overnight, PNG Immigration has moved to open a open a new Australian detention facility in Port Moresby, annexed to the Bomana prison.

The detention centre has been funded by Australia and has cost over $20 million.

Around 50 asylum seekers deemed not to be refugees have been transferred to the new detention facility overnight on Sunday, 11 August. (See Bomana transfer, below).

Australia and PNG immigration used the excuse of repairing the Manus Hillside detention centre to transfer the asylum seekers to Port Moresby in early July. They had been told that Hillside repairs would be completed by 7 August.

But there has been no attempt to repair Hillside. Some asylum seekers were rounded up last night and this morning (Monday 12 August) .

“It is now very clear that the excuse of Hillside repairs was a ruse by immigration to shift the asylum seekers into Bomana. There was never any intention of returning them back to Manus Island,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Many of those being detained are deemed not to be refugees although they have never had a refugee determination in PNG. It is also clear that PNG is now completely in thrall to Australia and had adopted Australia’s policy of indefinite detention by stealth.

“The Australian-built detention centre is every bit as bad as the Lombrum detention centre on Manus. The Supreme Court decision that detention in Lombrum was unlawful, applies just as much to Bomana, and will be tested in court.

“The so-called ‘negatives’ should be released. There should have been a review of all their cases and any refugee determinations a long time ago. The human rights abuses inflicted on refugees and asylum seekers held on Manus for the last six years is more than enough reason for their cases to reviewed and unconditionally released.”

It is understood that all remaining refugees on Manus will be moved into the East Lorengau detention compound in the coming days.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713