Oct. 5th, 2015

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Startling news: Nauru has announced that not only will it allow all 600 detainees to move around the island freely 24 hours a day, but says it will process all 600 refugee claims during the next week. However, as columnist Michael Gordon points out, Nauru's limited resources mean the refugees will probably have to continue living at the camp - and without independent observers we'll have no way of knowing their fates on a lawless and dangerous island: as the gang attack on two young refugee men, and the rapes of two refugee women demonstrate, Nauru's police are unable or unwilling to protect the newcomers from allegedly routine attacks.

Meanwhile, during the last six months, the Department of Immigration has asked the Australia Federal Police six times to investigate... leaks from the detention centre on Nauru.

In more hopeful news, this week will see a challenge in the High Court against the return of an asylum seeker to Nauru. The woman was brought to Australia when her health deteriorated during late pregnancy; she and her ten-month-old baby are now facing deportation. Similar cases relating to over 200 people currently in Australia, including victims of physical and sexual violence and 23 infants, have also begun. (ETA: The Australian government says the court case and Nauru's announcement are unrelated. Daniel Webb of the Human Rights Law Centre demurs.) (ETA: it is, of course, a "core element of the Australian government's defence".)

The first baby to be born to asylum seeker parents detained on Nauru arrived in September. Mercifully, given the limited medical facilities available, both mother and daughter are reportedly doing well.

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