April 30, 2014
Papua New Guinea has taken the first step towards granting refugee status and resettling refugees currently detained on Manus Island.
The ABC has obtained a letter from a PNG immigration official informing a 40-year-old Iranian man of the “positive initial assessment” to his asylum claim.
The letter, dated Wednesday April 30, states the man is not yet considered a refugee.
The final decision must come from PNG’s Foreign and Immigration ministers.
The document refers to resettling refugees in Papua New Guinea, an issue which asylum seekers and former staff at the Manus Island detention centre sayset off riots that left an Iranian Reza Barati dead.
The asylum seeker in question is from the centre’s Mike Compound, the same place where Mr Barati was killed.
More than 1,300 male asylum seekers have been waiting up to 10 months for their asylum claims to be processed.
Staff at the centre are believed to be on alert as asylum assessments are delivered.
Earlier this month, Australia’s Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the first of those found to be refugees could be resettled in PNG in June.