Rights groups slam Nauru asy­lum camp

The Myanmar Times - - World -

AUS­TRALIA is pur­su­ing a deliberate pol­icy of abuse in its treat­ment of asy­lum seek­ers on the Pa­cific is­land of Nauru to de­ter others from ar­riv­ing by boat, two global hu­man rights groups said yes­ter­day.

The re­port by Amnesty In­ter­na­tional and Hu­man Rights Watch is a scathing crit­i­cism of Can­berra’s im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy un­der which asy­lum seek­ers try­ing to reach Aus­tralia by boat are sent back or taken to Pa­pua New Guinea and Nauru.

The gov­ern­ment in­sists they set­tle in the Pa­cific is­lands or re­turn home and de­nies them re­set­tle­ment in Aus­tralia even if they are refugees.

In the lat­est crit­i­cism of the pol­icy, Amnesty and HRW said asy­lum seek­ers and refugees on Nauru suf­fered “severe abuse, in­hu­mane treat­ment, and ne­glect”.

The gov­ern­ment’s “fail­ure to ad­dress se­ri­ous abuses ap­pears to be a deliberate pol­icy to de­ter fur­ther asy­lum seek­ers from ar­riv­ing in the coun­try by boat”, it added.

Doc­tors, lawyers and refugee ad­vo­cates have pre­vi­ously crit­i­cised the off­shore set­tle­ment, with al­le­ga­tions that some asy­lum seek­ers suf­fered sex­ual abuse and men­tal health prob­lems while in the camp. –

Photo: EPA

Sup­port­ers of asy­lum seek­ers sent to Nauru have ac­cused the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment of abuse.

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