3 Mar 2015

Nauru President hits out over refugee protests

9:31 pm on 3 March 2015

Nauru's president has accused what he calls "faceless" Australian refugee advocates of provoking violence on the island nation.

Refugees on Nauru have been staging protests and a campaign of non co-operation, amid growing tension with locals.

President Baron Waqa says advocate groups are stirring up trouble for their own political agendas, spreading blatant lies about the safety situation that the refugees face in Nauru.

Activists claim 300 refugees rallied last Friday and five were slightly injured when they were blockaded by police.

The Refugee Action Coalition maintains the ongoing protest movement is peaceful and that refugees want to show their disgust at "being treated like slaves" by the Nauru and Australian governments.

The Nauru government insists only 150 refugees took part in a demonstration and that refugees threw stones at officers, injuring three and damaging a police car.

Mr Waqa says there has been no violence against refugees from police, but police will continue to enforce the law, which includes preventing mobile protests that endanger lives.

He also dismissed allegations refugee children had been raped.