Refugee abuse claims ‘fab­ri­cated’: Nauru

The Myanmar Times - - World -

NAURU yes­ter­day dis­missed as “fab­ri­cated” claims that asy­lum seek­ers faced vi­o­lence, abuse and hu­mil­i­at­ing treat­ment while liv­ing in Aus­tralian im­mi­gra­tion fa­cil­i­ties on the Pa­cific is­land, say­ing refugees had be­come po­lit­i­cal pawns.

The re­lease of more than 2000 leaked re­ports of in­ci­dents on Nauru de­tail­ing al­le­ga­tions of wide­spread abuse and self-harm, in­clud­ing chil­dren want­ing to kill them­selves, have sparked new calls for a par­lia­men­tary in­quiry in Aus­tralia.

Hit­ting back at the claims con­tained in the leaked doc­u­ments, which date from 2013 to 2015, the Nau­ruan gov­ern­ment said asy­lum seek­ers had made up most of them in hope of be­ing re­lo­cated to Aus­tralia.

“Most refugee & ad­vo­cate claims on Nauru fab­ri­cated to achieve goal to get to Aust. So called ‘re­ports’ based solely on th­ese claims,” the gov­ern­ment tweeted yes­ter­day.

In a sec­ond tweet, the repub­lic ac­cused the Aus­tralian left-wing me­dia, Greens MPs and refugee ad­vo­cates of “us­ing refugees as pawns for their po­lit­i­cal agen­das. Very sad”.

Aus­tralia – which since 2013 has de­nied re­set­tle­ment to asy­lum seek­ers ar­riv­ing by boat even if they are found to be refugees, send­ing them in­stead to Nauru or Pa­pua New Guinea’s Manus Is­land – has also ex­pressed scep­ti­cism about the re­ported in­ci­dents.

Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Pe­ter Dut­ton said some of events re­ported in the leaked files in­volved “false al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault” that were meant to cre­ate out­rage.

“Be­cause in the end, peo­ple have paid money to peo­ple smug­glers and they want to come to our coun­try,” he said last week. –

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