28 Jul 2003

Senior Australian politician calls for genuine refugees to be released from Nauru

7:47 am on 28 July 2003

A senior Australian politician has called for genuine refugees being held in Nauru to be released and reunited with their families.

The leader of the Democrats, Andrew Bartlett, is travelling to Nauru to gather more information about the four hundred asylum seekers being held there under the so-called Pacific Solution.

The Australian Associated Press says those being detained come mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran and include 197 families.

Senator Bartlett said he would meet with a group of nine women and their children being held there, even though they had husbands in Australia who were recognised refugees.

Before leaving, he said he believed the government was wasting millions dollars and causing increased human misery.

The Australian government's "Pacific Solution", is aimed at preventing asylum seekers from landing on Australian soil.