5 Mar 2015

Detained refugees on Nauru expected to be released tonight

8:28 pm on 5 March 2015

Nauru's government says almost 200 hundred refugees arrested after a series of protests will be released on bail tonight.

Refugees held in Nauru

Refugees held in Nauru Photo: supplied

A total of 183 have been held since Wednesday at the island's jail following a police crackdown on protests by the refugees that began last Friday.

Police continue to dispute the account of the confrontations given by support groups in Australia but they and the government are refusing to answer any questions from media.

The government says in a brief statement one Nauruan civilian has been charged with assaulting a refugee in light of evidence in a video circulating in the foreign media.

The statement defends the police crackdown on assembly, saying reacting to groups of 3 or more, if officers believe there is an intent to cause trouble, is written into Nauruan legal statutes which are based on Queensland law.

It says the protestors were obstructing a road so their protest could not be deemed peaceful.

The statement also denies children have been held in custody, apart from a 13 year old boy who has been charged with assaulting a police officer.

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