29 Nov 2016

Some Nauru refugees against, but many for US offer

From , 4:05 pm on 29 November 2016

An Australian journalist given access to Nauru says there is strong opposition to an offer from the United States to accept refugees from the island.

Earlier this month, Australia and the US reached a resettlement deal for refugees who are being held in offshore prisons after having tried to reach Australia by boat.

Few journalists have had access to Nauru since the re-establishment of Australia's detention camps there but Sky News journalist Laura Jayes and a cameraman were able to get on the island earlier this month.

She says she was stunned to hear that refugees did not want to take the American deal, with one Muslim saying he did not want to go to Trump's America.

Canberra has placed a lifetime ban on the refugees ever entering Australia.

The spokesperson for the Australian based Refugee Action Coalition confirms that there are a number of people ambivalent about the American offer.

But Ian Rintoul told Don Wiseman there are also several hundred who at least are trying to find out more about the offer.

A small group of Muslim refugees pray at sunset while other refugees participate in a football match at a camp for the asylum seekers on Nauru, 20 September 2001. The first of hundreds of mainly Afghan refugees arrived on the island 19 September from the Australian troopship Manoora.

Photo: AFP