27 Jun 2013

Refugee group stands by claims guards had beaten refugees on Nauru

4:38 am on 27 June 2013

The Australian based Refugee Action Coalition is standing by its report that six protesters at the Australian-run asylum seeker detention camp on Nauru were left unconscious on Tuesday after being beaten by guards.

Ian Rintoul says the guards' action was a brutal response to a protest by Palestinian, Sudanese and Lebanese asylum seekers, who were recently transferred from Christmas Island.

Mr Rintoul says the asylum seekers were told by Australian officials it would be at least six months before their claims for refugee status could be heard.

But an Australian immigration official says the report is wrong.

She says there was no protest or retaliation by the guards.

The official says six of the new arrived asylum seekers chose to sit in the sun and may have suffered sun stroke.