20 May 2015

Nauru police accused of cover-up

11:12 am on 20 May 2015

An Australia based advocate for refugees claims Nauru police and the Australian Immigration Department are covering up another sexual assault on an asylum seeker.

Nauru is trying to overturn a decision that froze the country's bank accounts.

Nauru Photo: AFP

On Saturday evening a 23 year-old female asylum seeker was found wandering naked on a road.

Nauru police say there was no sign of her having been physically or sexually assaulted and they say she indicated the same.

But Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition says the refugee and asylum seeker community believes the woman was savagely attacked.

He says it is the latest in what seems to be an escalating series of physical and sexual assaults on refugees.

Mr Rintoul accuses the Nauru police of attempting to cover up the crime.

He says this is the latest indication of a pattern of police inaction and the unwillingness of Nauruan authorities to protect refugees or to investigate or take seriously attacks on refugees.

Mr Rintoul says Transfield - the Australian multi national company running the camp - nor the Australia immigration department, nor the Nauruan government or police are able to protect asylum seekers in or out of detention.