POLITICS

Deportation Of Injured Manus Asylum Seeker Blocked By PNG Court

Azzam won an injunction to prevent being deported back to Lebanon.

01/05/2017 12:41 PM AEST | Updated 01/05/2017 12:48 PM AEST
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Azzam, in a still from a video he addressed to Malcolm Turnbull,.

A Lebanese asylum seeker on Manus Island suffering serious injuries has won an injunction to prevent his deportation, with a Papua New Guinean court to re-examine his refugee application.

Azzam El Cheikh has been on Manus for nearly four years, after attempting to reach Australia by boat in 2013. He recently received a negative determination on his refugee application, a ruling he is also disputing, and was marked for deportation. Police have tried to remove him from the island twice, once in late March and again in early April, but Azzam resisted and was injured.

He was taken to a police station in Port Moresby, and has remained there since, claiming to have suffered injuries to his neck, back and hands. There are also fears he has suffered serious injuries to his kidneys, as well as a suspected broken leg. However, Azzam also claimed he had been denied medical attention, and not even given a painkiller. He was told by officials last Wednesday that he would be deported within 24 hours, but a medical evaluation -- where he was given an x-ray on his suspected broken bones for the first time -- found he was not fit to fly.

We first brought you Azzam's story in April, when he filmed a video from a filthy prison cell, with stained walls and a disgusting toilet, addressing Prime Minister Turnbull personally, asking for assistance.

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The court ruling that Azzam's deportation be blocked

On Sunday, PNG's National Court of Justice granted an injunction blocking Azzam's deportation until his refugee application is re-examined. Azzam's lawyer will also push for him to be released from police custody and allowed to live in lodgings in Port Moresby, until the case returns to court on May 10.

"Our priority now is to have him properly assessed in a hospital, and given whatever care is required to return him to health," Marilyn Beech, one of Azzam's supporters and advocates, told HuffPost Australia.

"He's still in [the prison] at the moment. The lawyer is applying to have him immediately released, but that will take a while, some hours or days."

Beech said medical care was needed for Azzam, as he still did not know the result of the x-rays he had last week.

"Azzam is really anxious to find out whats on the x-rays taken of his kidneys. It was bad enough for PNG to stop loading him onto a plane. A lot of people know what's on the x-rays but the patient isn't one of them," she said.

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