TEHRAN, May 29, YJC -The Australian government has been sued over the detention of immigrants in a case due to be heard in the largest ever trial of its kind this week.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -
The trial, which had originally been due on Monday, has been rescheduled for Wednesday. It will be held at the Supreme Court in the southeast Australian state of Victoria on that day.
The entire trial will reportedly be live-streamed online and would be available to those asylum seekers and refugees held in notorious Australian-run detention centers on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
The class action is led by an Iranian immigrant, Majid Karami Kamasaee, who spent 10 months at the Manus Island facility and who now lives in community detention in Melbourne.
The legal case, which has been building for almost three years, will include 1,905 male plaintiffs, who were held at the center between November 2012 and December 2014, along with over 200,000 documents, 104 witness outlines, and 28 expert reports.
Law firm Slater and Gordon expects the case to run for up to seven months.
"This case will be the largest and most forensic public examination of the events and conditions at the Manus Island center and reflects the unquestionable importance of access to justice in the Australian legal system,” the firm said in a statement.
It said that the lead plaintiff had alleged that Australia "was in effective control of the Manus Island Detention Center at all relevant times, and thereby owed a duty of care to the detainees being held there.”
"The extraordinary secrecy surrounding the Manus Island detention center has meant that, for too long, the detainees’ experiences have been a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind,’” the firm further said in its statement.
Australia stops asylum-seeker boats from reaching its shores.
The government passed a law under which anyone who is intercepted while attempting to reach the mainland by boat is sent to detention camps on Manus Island off Papua New Guinea or the Pacific island of Nauru to have their requests processed.
Even if those individuals are found to be genuine refugees, the Australian government denies them resettlement on mainland Australia.
There have been numerous reports of abuse and misconduct against the detainees held in the camps, which rights groups have described as just limbos.