SYDNEY, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The chief justice of Papua New Guinea has said that the Manus Island detention centre, holding over 800 refugees, is now closed.
Sir Salamo Injia told the island nation's Supreme Court on Monday that he had accepted a submission made by the Papua new Guinean government to close the centre during a ruling that determined that 166 men that are being held there can now be deported.
More than 800 men who were detained at the facility have not been moved, but rather, have been instructed that they are now residing in what has become a government facility, with Injia declaring that the centre now constituted part of the Lombrum naval base.
"The government of Papua New Guinea complied with the court order and closed the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre (MIRPC)," Injia said.
"The transferees were allowed to move freely in and out of the MIRPC, and later when the MIRPC was shut down completely, they were accommodated at the nearby PNG Defence Force Navy base."
The chief justice went on to outline that both the Australian and the Papua New Guinean governments have in his determination, conducted the refugee screening process in a fair and just manner.
"It would seem unfair, cause great inconvenience and financial hardship and cause prejudice and complicate the rights and obligations of the government of PNG and the government of Australia under domestic and international law, for this court to compel the government of Australia and the government of PNG to do more than their share of meeting their international obligations to help asylum-seekers in addressing their plight." Injia said.