8 Nov 2012

Asylum-seekers say conditions on Nauru no better than home

1:59 pm on 8 November 2012

An asylum-seeker at the Nauru detention centre says life at the camp is no better than the life he tried to escape in his homeland.

377 asylum seekers are awaiting processing in Nauru after Australia re-established offshore processing to deter those trying to reach Australia.

A Palestinian asylum seeker in the camp Sayed Muhammad was originally on Christmas Island and says they were well facilitated there but says conditions on Nauru are poor.

He says many of the asylum seekers suffered physical torture in their homelands but now face the mental torture of being separated from family and not knowing what their future holds.

The Australian Department of Immigration has indicated it will not start processing their applications for refugee status for some time.

Sayed Muhammad says the asylum-seekers know the Australian government is trying to deter future boat arrivals but says it's not fair to punish them.