20 Jun 2006

Supporter of Nauru refugees says Australia's ASIO must now lift ban

8:12 pm on 20 June 2006

A supporter of the two Iraqi refugees on Nauru says the time is right for the negative security assessment given them by Australia to be lifted.

Susan Metcalfe, a researcher of the Nauru detainees, has welcomed the move by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to interview the two Iraqis again over the past few days.

The Iraqis have also been interviewed by mental health experts after the Nauru Government expressed concern about their welfare.

Ms Metcalfe says it's unclear why ASIO has maintained a negative security assessment on the men since last year.

"They haven't been prepared to go for the last eight months. And what they've said for the last eight months is these men have a negative security assessment and they won't be brought to Australia. So just the fact that they're going there, and mental health professionals are going there, would have to mean they are considering their cases again ."

Susan Metcalfe will travel to Nauru on Friday for her fourth visit to the detainees.

She says the mental health of one of the Iraqis remains a serious concern.