Pacific

Papua New Guinea: Australian refugee detention camp illegal

FILE - In this May 12, 2013 file photo, Iranian asylum seekers who were caught in Indonesian waters while sailing to Australia sit on a boat at Benoa port in Bali, Indonesia. Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 ruled that Australia's detention of asylum seekers at a facility on the country's Manus Island is unconstitutional. The Pacific island nation's ruling could jeopardize Australia's divisive policy of refusing to accept any asylum seekers who attempt to reach its shores by boat. The country pays Papua New Guinea and the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru to hold them in detention camps instead. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati, File)

FILE - In this May 12, 2013 file photo, Iranian asylum seekers who were caught in Indonesian waters while sailing to Australia sit on a boat at Benoa port in Bali, Indonesia. Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 ruled that Australia's detention of asylum seekers at a facility on the country's Manus Island is unconstitutional. The Pacific island nation's ruling could jeopardize Australia's divisive policy of refusing to accept any asylum seekers who attempt to reach its shores by boat. The country pays Papua New Guinea and the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru to hold them in detention camps instead. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati, File)  (The Associated Press)

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has ruled that Australia's detention of asylum seekers at a facility on the country's Manus Island is unconstitutional.

The Pacific island nation's ruling on Tuesday could jeopardize Australia's divisive policy of refusing to accept any asylum seekers who try to reach its shores by boat. The country pays Papua New Guinea and the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru to hold them in detention camps instead.

The court dubbed the detention of the asylum seekers a violation of their constitutional right to personal liberty. The court ordered the Papua New Guinea and Australian governments to take immediate steps toward ending the detention of asylum seekers at the Manus Island facility. The center houses around 900 men.