8 Sep 2016

Danish MP decries Australia's secrecy

12:57 pm on 8 September 2016

One of the Danish parliamentarians denied access to Nauru last week says the secrecy surrounding Australia's detention camps in Nauru calls for a massive international condemnation.

In an opinion piece published in Denmark and Britain, Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen said as opposed to Europe, where most countries are part of the European Convention on Human Rights, Australia has no authority with legal powers to stop human rights violations.

Danish MP Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen takes issue with Australia's secrecy about its detention camps

Danish MP Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen takes issue with Australia's secrecy about its detention camps Photo: Politiken

After a leak of incident reports alleging abuse in the Nauru camps, Ms Schmidt-Nielsen said she asked high-ranking representatives of the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the assistant minister, Alex Hawke, in Canberra who bore legal responsibility.

She said after asking for a whole week while in Australia, she could not get a clear answer and the Danish delegation also failed to get an answer to the question if a single incident had been investigated by police or led to a verdict in court.

She also noted that the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, has been denied a Nauru visa.

Ms Schmidt-Nielsen said most people sent to the camps have been recognised as refugees according to the UN refugee convention yet it is not known where they can and will go.

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