Call for Australia's Nauru camps to close immediately
Human rights agencies say the Australian-run detention camps on Nauru must be closed immediately after new revelations of abuse there.
The Guardian has published more than 2,000 leaked incident reports that show the assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions endured by the asylum seekers.
Don Wiseman has more.
The analysis by the Guardian reveals more than half of the reports concern children, despite them making up just 18 percent of the inmates. The files contain seven reports of sexual assault of children, 59 reports of assault on children, 30 of self-harm involving children and 159 of threatened self-harm involving children. Amnesty New Zealand's Grant Bayldon says the reports in the Guardian are consistent with what their researcher found on Nauru last month.
"What these files lay bare is just really how horrific the abuse and how bad the situation is there for people who are not guilty of any crime, for people who just tried to get themselves and their families to safety."
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre's campaign co-ordinator, Pamela Curr, says the incident reports crystallise the offences committed against the inmates.
"This information has been out in the public domain through multiple reports from parliamentary committee, human rights committees, from Amnesty, eminent national human rights bodies have all investigated but what this does, this provides chapter and verse a log of the incidents."
The executive director of the Human Rights Law Centre, Hugh de Kretzer, says the camps must close.
"It is so clear the cruelty the Australian Government is inflicting on people, the decent response to this is to act now and bring them to Australia. That is what the government needs to do."
The Australian Government in a statement says it continues to support the Nauruan Government to provide for the health, welfare and safety of all transferees and refugees. It says all alleged incidents within the regional processing centre are reported and where appropriate referred to the Nauru Police Force for investigation. It also says many of the incidents are unconfirmed allegations. The Government says they are evidence of the robustness of reporting procedures under which any alleged incident must be recorded, reported and where necessary investigated. Anmesty's Grant Bayldon rejects Canberra's claims the incidents detailed in the reports are historical.
"Amnesty International totally rejects that. Based on our research which was conducted just weeks ago, what's in these files is entirely consistent with what's still going on right now."
Pamela Curr says it is also not true that complaints get investigated. She says Nauru has never charged a Nauruan with an offence, despite reports of rapes, other sexual assaults and violence. An offer by New Zealand to Australia to take 150 refugees is understood to still be on the table. Grant Bayldon has called for the Key Government to confirm it is interested in being part of the solution by pushing this agreement with Australia and offering to re-settle people here. In the wake of the Guardian's release, human rights and refugee bodies in Australia have launched a campaign called 'Bring Them Here' to have the inmates and refugees taken to Australia.
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