Dan­ish law­mak­ers de­nied ac­cess to Nauru camp

The Myanmar Times - - World -

DAN­ISH law­mak­ers have dropped a planned visit to a con­tro­ver­sial Aus­tralian im­mi­gra­tion cen­tre on the Pa­cific is­land of Nauru af­ter two politi­cians who crit­i­cised the cen­tre were de­nied ac­cess.

Jo­hanne Sch­midt-Nielsen of the left­ist Red-Green Alliance and Ja­cob Mark of the So­cial­ist Peo­ple’s Party had both crit­i­cised Can­berra’s use of off­shore set­tle­ments for asy­lum seek­ers and con­di­tions at the Nauru camp be­fore trav­el­ling to Aus­tralia last week.

“Af­ter the Dan­ish for­eign ministry got in­volved in the case, Nauru au­thor­i­ties said on that the de­ci­sion [to deny ac­cess] re­mained in force,” Ms Sch­midt-Nielsen wrote on Face­book.

The en­tire del­e­ga­tion then de­cided to can­cel its visit to the is­land, even though law­mak­ers from the So­cial Democrats, the cen­tre-right Ven­stre party and the anti-im­mi­gra­tion Dan­ish Peo­ple’s Party would have been able to go.

“It is ab­so­lutely un­ac­cept­able and un­demo­cratic and says ev­ery­thing about the sit­u­a­tion in Nauru that crit­ics are de­nied ac­cess,” Ms Sch­midtNielsen added.

A third law­maker who had not voiced any crit­i­cism against the Nauru im­mi­gra­tion cen­tre – Naser Khader of the Con­ser­va­tive Peo­ple’s Party – was also de­nied ac­cess.

While Dan­ish me­dia spec­u­lated that his ap­pli­ca­tion may have come too late, Ms Sch­midt-Nielsen sug­gested that his Arab name may have played a part in the de­ci­sion.

The re­lease of more than 2000 leaked re­ports of in­ci­dents on Nauru re­vealed al­le­ga­tions of wide­spread abuse and self-harm.

Bri­tain’s Guardian news­pa­per, which pub­lished the Nauru re­ports, said that only two Aus­tralian jour­nal­ists had been granted ac­cess to the Nauru de­ten­tion cen­tre in the past three years. –

Photo: EPA

Jo­hanne Sch­midt-Nielsen celebrates the EU vote against cross-bor­der polic­ing in Copenhagen on De­cem­ber 3, 2015.

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