30 Oct 2003

Australia still detains 4 refugees in Nauru

5:02 pm on 30 October 2003

Australian government officials say only four people classed as genuine refugees remain in Nauru.

The Department of Immigration, Migration and Indigenous Affairs, or DIMIA, says three-hundred and fourteen people seeking asylum are still in detention centres on the island.

They were sent to Nauru two years ago after being intercepted at sea trying to enter Australia illegally.

DIMIA spokesperson Jeff Lamb says many countries have accepted refugees.

"767 people have been resettled from the offshore processing centers on Manus and Nauru. Of these Australia has taken 379, New Zealand 352 and 17 have settled in Sweden, six in Denmark, nine in Canada and four in Norway"

Mr Lamb says the detainees on Nauru who are found not be owed protection are expected to return to their home countries as soon as circumstances permit.