Refugee abuse claims ‘fabricated’: Nauru
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. –