16 Dec 2003

Seven hunger strikers on Nauru have been taken to hospital

8:50 am on 16 December 2003

Seven asylum seekers staging a hunger strike to protest at their detention on Nauru have been taken to hospital amid reports others are urinating blood.

The Australian Immigration Department says five Afghani men have been taken to hospital , joining two men already under medical care.

A departmental spokesman says all the men are in a good condition and one has returned to the detention centre.

The Australian Associated Press says there are now a total of 23 Afghani men and one Pakistani man on the hunger strike.

More than 280 people, including 93 children, are still on Nauru after failing to win refugee status.

Australia has been processing them in Nauru as part of its policy not to let asylum seekers at sea land on its shores.