Last night, in a damning attack on the Australian Government’s offshore refugee camp on Nauru, the Former President of Nauru, Sprent Dabwido, said the agreement with Australia was a mistake, describing it as a ‘deal with the devil.’ Mr Dabwido likened the policy, under which the Australian Government has indefinitely detained refugees on the tiny island nation for up to six years, to ‘torture.’
Katie Robertson, Legal Director at the Human Rights Law Centre said:
“For six long years, refugees in Australia’s care on Nauru have been subjected to an unconscionably cruel and brutal regime of indefinite detention. Over this time, we’ve seen a humanitarian crisis unfolding, with children as young as nine attempting self-harm, and the tragic loss of life.
For the former President, one of key dealmakers in this shameful arrangement, to now liken the treatment of innocent people on the island to ‘torture’ is a further damning indictment of the Australian Government’s harmful refugee policy.
After so much suffering, the Australian Government must act now to close our shameful offshore camps and bring the remaining 900 men and women to safety."
The Australian Government’s refugee camp on Nauru has resulted in widespread suffering and self-harm, and death of refugees and people seeking asylum.
“Over recent months we’ve seen a powerful shift in public concern about the welfare of the innocent people Australia has held on Nauru and Manus for six long years. Politicians cannot ignore this. The women and men that remain trapped on the islands must be brought to Australia, and this shameful chapter in our history must be closed once and for all,” said Ms Robertson.
For interviews call:
Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519