11 Oct 2013

Tension in Nauru amid secrecy over refugee classification

7:10 pm on 11 October 2013

There are reports of rising tension among Australia's more than 800 asylum seekers being kept in tent camps on Nauru over the failure to publicly announce who has been granted refugee status.

The Australian-based Refugee Action Coalition says it understands as many as 150 people had been found to be refugees months ago but they have not been informed and remain in custody.

The Coalition's spokesperson, Ian Rintoul, says part of the reason for riots more than three months ago was the failure by either the Australian or Nauru governments to reveal the outcome of refugee assessments.

He says similar tensions are developing again.

"Partly because you have got people in all likelihood who have been found to be refugees according to their processing on Nauru but this information is being denied to them. So they are quite deliberately just being kept in these appalling conditions in spite of the fact that the expectation is that a good majority will actually be refugees. I mean it is absolutely appalling treatment that is being dished out."

Ian Rintoul of the Australian-based Refugee Action Coalition