The Australian government has not responded to accusations by Amnesty International that it is arbitrarily detaining refugees in a Nauru processing centre.
Amnesty says Australia has always said asylum seekers will only be detained while they are being processed for refugee status.
However, it says asylum seekers who were recognised as refugees months ago are still being detained in Nauru.
Both the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Canberra and the office of the immigration minister, Scott Morrison, have declined to explain the change in policy.
There has been no comment from the Nauru government which has been responsible for processing the applications.
An Amnesty spokesperson, Graeme McGregor, says this situation undermines the whole process of having asylum seekers processed at all.