More reports of suicide attempts at Nauru camp
A refugee advocate says the mother and brother of a sexual assault victim in the Nauru asylum seeker detention tried to commit suicide last night.
An Australian group advocating for the welfare of asylum seekers and refugees in Nauru says a mother and son tried to commit suicide at the detention camp last night.
The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul says violence at the camps on Nauru is escalating and there is little effort being made to properly investigate assault.
He told Don Wiseman he believes the latest incident is connected to a sexual assault on their sister two months ago.
Mr Rintoul says all three have been held in isolation at the asylum detention camp since that attack.
IAN RINTOUL: We understand now that there's a woman who may have been separated from her mother and brother, the whole family have been kept incommunicado from the rest of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru but we also understand now that perhaps the woman has been kept separated from her mother and brother in a different area of the Nauru camp.
DON WISEMAN: And your belief, and the people that you're talking to, say that this is due to this event about two months ago when this woman was allegedly sexually assaulted in the street.
IR: Yeah, there's very little doubt. The police have actually admitted the assault although they initially attempted to deny that such an assault had taken place but they have admitted to the sexual assault, but as far we know, there's been no attempt to get statements from people who the woman was with, earlier in the afternoon, or people who had found her later in the day and it's been symptomatic unfortunately of almost all of the sexual assaults, and other assaults that have taken place on Nauru, even when they had been reported to police there's been no investigation, and the consequence is that there are escalating allegations of sexual assault including, not an actual assault last night, but certainly, Nauruan men did actually approach the single women accommodation at Ewa on Nauru, and that caused very high level of anxiety, because women in Ewa have been sexually assaulted and have made statements to the police previously. They're the latest last week.
DW: As you know, it's almost impossible for the media to get any information out of Nauru, or at least from official sources on Nauru, but you say that there have been recent cases where a number of the women, and there are hundreds of people who have refugee status on Nauru, but a lot of young women are actually wanting to go back into the camp because they feel safer there.
IR: Yes, there certainly are a number of young single women who have gone back to the detention centre and asked to be taken back inside the detention centre and that's the level of terror and anxiety that exists for single women in particular, although, it's not exclusive, in particular it is the single women living outside the detention centre that are living in fear and so there are now a number of documented allegations of assault, statements being made to police, in some instances the victims have actually identified the perpetrators, but there's no action, there's simply a complete climate of indifference, they go through the motions, a police car might show up, they'll tell them to come in to make their statements the following day, they do and that's the last that happens and this is the fact that they can act with impunity in this way, that there has been an escalating number of assaults and reports of assaults that have been happening over the last few months, from just prior to May actually to now, so it's three or four months, this situation has been getting worse and worse, there is a climate of terror hanging over the refugees on Nauru.
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