22 Oct 2012

Further asylum seeker protest on Nauru

12:45 pm on 22 October 2012

Australia's asylum seekers on Nauru have staged another protest, calling for help from the United Nations as well as for refugee processing to begin immediately and for the Nauru detention camp to be closed.

The Australia-based Refugee Action Coalition says more than 300 detainees took part in yesterday's action, timed to coincide with a protest in Melbourne calling for an end to offshore processing.

The Coalition says Australian immigration officials are holding separate meetings with asylum seekers of different nationalities and the detainees are worried about moves to intimidate different groups inside the centre.

It says one of the Iranian asylum seekers seems to have a guard or Nauru police permanently watching him, including when he goes to the toilet.

A Coalition spokesperson says the uncertainty of detention is a form of mental torture and the Australian government is creating an intolerable situation on Nauru.

Ian Rintoul says there is an urgent need for independent human rights observers to be stationed on the island.