11 Feb 2016

Refugee on Nauru held for two weeks with no charges

3:00 pm on 11 February 2016

A refugee on Nauru has been arrested by police and allegedly held for two weeks without charge following a dispute over his living quarters.

The barren and bankrupt island state of the Republic of Nauru awaits the arrival of refugees, 11 September 2001. Just 25 square kilometres, Nauru has been devastated by phosphate mining which once made the Micronesians the second wealthiest people per capita on earth. AFP PHOTO/Torsten BLACKWOOD

The Republic of Nauru Photo: AFP

The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul says reports from Nauru are that the 44 year old Iranian man and his 8 year old daughter had moved from their allocated dwelling to a larger room that had become available in another part of the island.

Mr Rintoul says the Australian agency in charge of resettling refugees in Nauru, Connect Settlement Services objected to the move and told the man to return to his original lodging.

He says the man refused to do so and a complaint was filed with police resulting in his arrest on the 27th of January.

Mr Rintoul says the situation is made worse by the fact that the man's daughter has had to be looked after by another refugee family amidst all the uncertainty.

"Not having her father with her, he is the only other part of the family for two and a half years now on Nauru that she has known, she is extremely distressed. And they have tried to be comforting but really there is not much they have been able to say about, you know, how long he is going to be away. Why the police have got him and what is going to happen in the, in the future."

Ian Rintoul says the man was due to appear in court again today but no reports of the outcome of the proceedings have been forthcoming as yet.