30 Jan 2004

Nauru attorney-general says visa application process complicated

7:20 am on 30 January 2004

The acting attorney-general for Nauru says the visa application process to visit his country is a complicated one, that no one department has complete responsibility for.

Lionel Aingimea's comments come amid claims by human-rights-and-aid-workers that their applications to visit Nauru to meet with the Afghan asylum-seekers detained there, are being denied arbitrarily.

Mr Aingimea says an application must be sponsored by a resident, and then is processed by differing departments, depending on what the would-be visitor's occupation is.

He says, as attorney-general, he deals only with applications from lawyers, and the chief justice has final approval of a lawyer's application.

Mr Aingimea says an application may have to go through the immigration and police departments before he sees it.

Meanwhile, Mr Aingimea says he has not yet sighted a visitor's application from the Australian lawyer, Eric Vadarlis, who says he wants to visit the detainees, who he believes are being held unconstitutionally.