27 Mar 2013

Daily protests have stopped but asylum seekers on Nauru remain suspicious: activist

3:34 pm on 27 March 2013

A refugee activist says protests at Australia's asylum seeker camp on Nauru have ceased but most asylum seekers remain suspicious over the processing of their claims for refugee status.

A team from Australia started interviews on Nauru last week under Canberra's offshore processing policy.

About three quarters of the 400 asylum seekers remain in tents at the centre which has seen protests, including hunger strikes, self-harm and lip stitching among the all- male population of Iranians, Iraqis and Sri Lankans.

Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition says the men who had stitched their lips together have now removed the stitches apart from one man who has been hospitalised.

But he says most asylum seekers are now demanding evidence the interviews underway are not just preliminary.

"Confusion reigns supreme about whether there is real processing. There's been a very limited start. Some people are actually boycotting the processing. There's still a great deal of anxiety and confusion so any idea that there's sweetness and light inside the Nauru detention centre is just not the case."

Ian Rintoul says twenty asylum seekers remain on hunger strike..