15 Oct 2012

Australia's asylum seekers in Nauru protest

1:18 pm on 15 October 2012

The Australian-based Refugee Action Coalition says more than 200 asylum seekers who Canberra sent to Nauru staged a protest on Sunday to coincide with a rally in Sydney against the processing of refugees abroad.

The Coalition says the protest in the Nauru camp lasted three hours and ended with the issuing of a letter signed by all the asylum seekers.

They have called for the transfer of asylum seekers to Nauru to stop and for the camp on the island to close.

They have also asked for officials from the Australian Department of Immigration to start processing their applications for refugee status.

According to the Coalition, the Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen earlier told the asylum seekers it would be up to a year before processing of their refugee applications would begin.

The asylum seekers says they also want to access to international agencies like the Red Cross, the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The group says it will continue to hold protests until it has received its rights.