29 Oct 2012

Contact curbed for Australia's asylum seekers on Nauru

4:33 pm on 29 October 2012

Asylum seekers sent by Australia to Nauru are reported to be facing restricted phone and internet access.

The Australia-based group, the Refugee Action Coalition, says internet access has been limited to 15 minutes and phone calls to ten minutes.

It says they will also be supervised to make sure they are not trying to contact the international media.

A spokesman for the group, Ian Rintoul, says cutting off contact from the outside world is the Australian government's attempt to cover up the situation in Nauru:

"They've been extremely embarrassed by the fact that some news and some truth about what's happening in Nauru has got out. They originally denied that there have been any instances of self-harm or attempted suicide only to find themselves being impossible to continue to deny that."

The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul.

The Nauru government could not be reached for comment, while Australia's Department of Immigration says there are no restrictions on the communication links, but that a booking system is in place for the 381 inmates in the camp.