7 Jul 2005

Nauru says it can do no more for detainees in Australian-run camps

4:21 pm on 7 July 2005

Nauru says it cannot do any more than it has already done to help the last remaining long-term detainees being held on its soil under Australia's policy of processing them offshore.

The last family held in detention camps on Nauru has been accepted for temporary settlement in Australia, leaving just over 30 long-term detainees on Nauru.

Amnesty International says it's concerned that Australia, through its policy, has exported arbitrary detention to another country.

It says both Australia and the government of Nauru deny responsibility for those on Nauru.

But Nauru's Foreign and Finance Minister, David Adeang, says he's done all he can.

"I've done pretty much I think all that I can do. I've in fact opened up the camps so that residents in those camps are free to roam around the island almost like the typical Nauruan. I mean, you meet up with these people when you go swimming at the beach, or go to the hospital, the school, you go out bush-walking, or go to to the hospital to the beach, you go out bush-walking, they're up there as well. I'm not sure what else I can do. I'm at a real loss, especially considering the resource constraints that I have, just trying to feed the 8000 people that look to Treasury for support for their daily livelihood."

Mr Adeang says Nauru continues to agree to host the camps and to do all it can to make the detainees' stay as pleasant as possible.

He says they must be comforted by the thought that their numbers are dwindling slowly.