The Papua New Guinea opposition leader Belden Namah is mounting a legal challenge to Australia’s offshore detention centre on Manus Island, arguing that people can only be detained for lengthy periods in PNG if they have broken the law (see the Refugee Action Coalition’s media release here: http://www.refugeeaction.org.au/?p=2458
The PNG court reopens on 1st February and will soon after announce the exact date of the court action in Port Moresby.
As soon as the Refugee Action Collective knows, we will be holding a protest action at 12pm on that day outside the PNG Consulate in Brisbane, 320 Adelaide Street (near the corner of Wharf Street).
Manus Island is currently being used to detain families as well as single adult males. Asylum seekers at the detention centre have written to Belden Namah supporting his action saying it is their “only hope”. ”We are asylum seekers, families with young children, and teenagers, not a group of criminals or smugglers,” they wrote.
Since the Manus Island detention centre was opened there have been a number of attempted suicides and much despair. See the 12 letters below from women on Manus Island.
Please stay tuned for further updates. A facebook events page has been created here: http://www.facebook.com/events/274957992633525/
The first organising meeting of the Refugee Action Collective will be at 6.30pm, Wednesday the 6th February, 2nd Floor, TLC Building, 16 Peel Street South Brisbane.