Aussie PM slams Amnesty’s refugee camp tor­ture claims

The Myanmar Times - - World -

AMNESTY In­ter­na­tional’s claims that Aus­tralia’s de­ten­tion of asy­lum seek­ers on the Pa­cific is­land of Nauru amounts to tor­ture are “ab­so­lutely false”, Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull said yes­ter­day.

Can­berra sends asy­lum seek­ers try­ing to reach Aus­tralia by boat to Nauru but the camp’s con­di­tions have been crit­i­cised by refugee ad­vo­cates and med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als.

The asy­lum seek­ers are blocked from be­ing re­set­tled in Aus­tralia even if found to be refugees.

Amnesty said in a re­port on Oc­to­ber 17 that asy­lum seek­ers and refugees on tiny Nauru were “driven to ab­so­lute de­spair” and were strug­gling with an “epi­demic of self-harm”, adding that their liv­ing con­di­tions fit in­ter­na­tional law’s def­i­ni­tion of tor­ture.

Mr Turn­bull blasted the al­le­ga­tions and said his coun­try’s tough poli­cies stopped peo­ple dy­ing at sea on dan­ger­ous boat jour­neys.

“I re­ject that claim to­tally. That is ab­so­lutely false,” he said of Amnesty’s charge of sys­tem­atic ne­glect and cru­elty on Nauru.

Amnesty’s se­nior di­rec­tor for re­search Anna Nei­s­tat, who trav­elled to Nauru for the re­port, said her or­gan­i­sa­tion did not “come to these con­clu­sions [about tor­ture] eas­ily”.

Ms Nei­s­tat slammed the veil of se­crecy around the cen­tres, say­ing she had to travel to Nauru in a per­sonal ca­pac­ity af­ter her of­fi­cial ap­pli­ca­tions were re­jected six times.

A former case man­ager on Nauru, San­dra Bartlett, said she was ter­ri­fied about the le­gal con­se­quences of speak­ing out but that “more peo­ple will die” if ac­tion was not taken im­meditely.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.