4 Jan 2016

Probe called over Somali refugee's return to Nauru

8:57 am on 4 January 2016

An Australian lawyer has asked for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to examine the immigration department over the way it handled the case of a Somali refugee who sought an abortion after she was allegedly raped on Nauru.

Last October, the Australian government flew her to Australia and returned her secretly on a chartered flight back to Nauru, saying she had changed her mind about the procedure.

However, the lawyer Kellie Tranter has told the Guardian Australia that new emails challenge the veracity of the statement.

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Photo: RNZ / Walter Zweifel

At the time, the immigration minister Peter Dutton said she had changed her mind about having an abortion, and that reports to the contrary were a fabrication.

Ms Tranter has called for an investigation of the matter.

Abortion is illegal in Nauru.

Australia has been criticised for its policy of sending asylum seekers arriving by boat to its processing centres abroad.