7 Sep 2007

Asylum seekers on Nauru continue hunger strike

10:24 am on 7 September 2007

Hunger striking Sri Lankan asylum seekers being held on Nauru say they are ready to die rather than wait indefinitely for the Australian government to process their cases.

It is understood 55 of the 82 Sri Lankans on Nauru have joined the hunger strike, and are accepting only two cups of tea each day.

The group says their hunger strike will end only when Australia gives them a time frame for processing their applications.

Asylum seekers kept on mainland Australia must have their claims processed within 90 days.

Australia set-up the immigration processing centre in Nauru as part of the so-called Pacific Solution, to stop unauthorised boat arrivals reaching Australia.

Mark Getchell from the International Organisation for Migration which undertakes the care and maintenance of asylum seekers in Nauru, said six of the Sri Lankans remained in hospital as a result of the hunger strike.