30 Aug 2006

Concern over Burmese asylum seekers to be sent to Nauru

3:40 pm on 30 August 2006

Members of the Burmese Rohingya community in Australia have appealed to the Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone, not to send a group of their countrymen to Nauru.

The Sydney Morning Herald says Australia plans to move eight Rohingyas being held on Christmas Island to Nauru as early as this week where their refugee applications are to be processed.

The Rohingyas are a Muslim minority in Burma and according to the group Anti-Slavery International are routinely subjected to forced labour, extortion and arbitrary arrests.

The Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre says all eight Rohingyas have asked it to represent them.

But the Centre's David Manne says the Department of Immigration has not been willing to assure him that he will be allowed enough time to interview them before they are moved to Nauru.