26 Nov 2015

A fifth Nauru refugee flies to Cambodia

8:27 pm on 26 November 2015

Australia has secretly transferred a fifth refugee from Nauru to Cambodia under a deal costing Australian taxpayers US$39.6 million dollars.

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Photo: RNZ

Fairfax reports the Rohingya Muslim man arrived in Phnom Penh last week just days before the United Nations warned that Cambodia's increasingly fractious political situation is pushing the country towards a "dangerous tipping point".

The UN's human rights rapporteur for Cambodia, Rhona Smith, says increased political infighting has been accompanied by more human rights abuses.

Under Australia's agreement the man is expected to be accommodated in a sprawling luxury villa and be provided with benefits including cash payments, training, health insurance and assistance in setting up a small business.

Only five of the hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru have so far agreed to give up their hopes of reaching Australia and take a one-way ticket to one of Asia's poorest nations.

The first group of four refugees arrived in Phnom Penh in June after months of planning.