4 Oct 2006

Growing demands for return to Australia of Nauru detainee

7:47 pm on 4 October 2006

Opposition parties in Australia say the last remaining refugee on Nauru to be brought back to Australia.

Mohammed Sagar is the only refugee left on Nauru of at least 1,200 sent to the island by Australia since August 2001.

The Nauru government has reportedly decided to charge Australia a monthly visa penalty fee for Mr Sagar, but Canberra has ignored the Nauru government instruction although an immigration official said it was within Nauru's rights to charge the fee.

The Australian Labor Party's Immigration spokesman, Tony Burke, says the Iraqi should be detained in Australia so he can undergo proper security assessments.

Mr Sagar has been deemed a security risk by the Australian Security Intelligence Office, but Mr Burke says it's been difficult for the office to conduct assessments on remote Nauru.

Meanwhile, Greens Senator Kerry Nettle has spoken to Mr Sagar who has not received a reply to a letter he sent to Australia's prime minister, John Howard.

Senator Nettle says Mr Sagar deserves compassionate treatment not bureaucratic indifference.