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A group of twenty-five asylum seekers from Manus Island Regional Processing Center filed suit in Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Supreme Court last March. The refugees—from Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria, and Lebanon—will argue that their ongoing detention breaches PNG’s constitutionally guaranteed rights of liberty and access to legal representation. The suit comes after another Iranian asylum seeker on Manus Island, Majid Karami Kamasaei, initiated a class action against the Australian government for failing to uphold its duty to take reasonable care of detainees. Manus Island, located in northern Papua New Guinea, has been home to one of Australia’s two offshore immigrant-processing centers (OPC) since 2001. After falling into disuse, the government formally closed the Manus Island center in 2008, but a significant rise in the number of maritime refugees in 2012 led the Australian government to re-open the facility. As recently as February 2015, approximately 1,004 refugees occupied the detention center, many of whom had lived at the facility since November of 2012. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has made multiple inquiries into the treatment of asylum-seekers at Manus Island since the detention center reopened its doors; it has expressed concern that the facility’s cramped living conditions coupled with open-ended refugee assessments and placement times frequently result in arbitrary detentions. The PNG class action suit’s named plaintiff, 34-year-old Iranian refugee Majid Karami Kamasaee, spent eleven months in the Manus Island detention center before the government transferred him to Melbourne for medical treatment after health workers confiscated his medication on the island. In his suit against the Australian government, which includes all asylum seekers held on Manus Island between November 2012 and December 2014, Kamasaei states that the standard of care provided by the Australian Commonwealth at the island’s detention facilities fell far below the standards required by Australia’s Migration Act. Court documents show that the medical providers on the island, the International Health and Medical Services (IHMS), instructed asylum seekers to drink a minimum of five liters of water per day due to the hot climate of PNG. However, reports show that as recently as December of 2014, many asylum seekers had access to only 500 milliliters of water per day. Court documents from the case, Kamasaee v. Commonwealth, also state that accommodations were dire and asylum seekers were often exposed to the elements with no appropriate shelter from the high heat and humidity. The court will consider whether the Australian government has effective control over the detention center, since the majority of those working at facilities are private security companies contracted by the government. Lead plaintiff Kamasaee commenced the class action in the Australian Supreme Court of Victoria on May 15, 2015 and the court will hear the case for the first time July 17, 2015. Article 42 of the PNG Constitution once guaranteed all people the right to liberty unless they were suspected of a criminal offense or unless they entered the country illegally. However, in early 2014 the PNG Parliament amended the Constitution so that “no person shall be deprived of liberty except . . . under purposes of holding a foreign national under arrangements made by PNG with another country or an international organization that the Minister responsible for immigration matters, in his absolute discretion, approves.” In their class action suit, the group of asylum seekers will argue that, since their detention predated the amendment, Article 42’s new language should not apply. In addition to the domestic mechanisms protecting asylum-seekers, both PNG and Australia are parties to similar international agreements.  For example, Article 31 of the 1951 Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Refugee Convention), to which both PNG and Australia are signatories, forbids contracting states from imposing penalties on refugees who are present in their territory without proper authorization. The UNHCR, in accordance with Article 35 of the 1951 Refugee Convention, requires refugee cases be brought promptly before a judicial or other independent authority for review. Furthermore, Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) decrees that “no one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.” In May of 2014, the UNHCR publicized that, as a matter of international law, the physical transfer of asylum-seekers from Australia to PNG does not eliminate the commonwealth nation’s international or domestic responsibilities for the protection of asylum seekers. The Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights echoed the UNHCR and found that regardless of whether Australia established official effective control, government officials and contractors had sufficient involvement in Manus Island’s operations to implicate the commonwealth nation as responsible for any violations of refugee standards under international law. In addition to the delays in establishing legal frameworks for refugee status determination, UNCHR Director of International Protection, Volker Türk, noted that harsh conditions for asylum seekers were punitive and did not provide safe or humane conditions as required by the 1951 Convention. Tensions also seem to be mounting at Manus Island with a 700-person hunger strike in January of this year, alongside increased reports of deadly violence. Moving forward, the UNHCR considers it imperative that the more than 18,000 asylum seekers, who arrived in Australia by boat since 2012, be provided with just and effectual asylum procedures as soon as possible. These obligations should endure, regardless of whether the asylum seeker remains in Australia or is subsequently transferred to PNG.