Nauru hunger strike continues – one Afghan hospitalised

| November 2, 2012 | Reply

The mass hunger strike on Nauru has entered its second day, still with around 290 people not eating. One Iranian man has been on hunger strike for 22 days.

Three of the hunger strikers have become weak and are too dizzy to stand. One of them, an Afghan man, was taken to hospital around 2.00pm Nauru time.

This morning (Friday 2 November), the asylum seekers have requested to meet with a representative of the Department of Immigration. They are waiting for a reply from DIAC.

“We are on unlimited hunger strike, until we are getting out rights,” one of the asylum seekers on Nauru told the Refugee Action Coalition, “Our rights means taking us back to Australia and starting out processing.”

Meanwhile the Iranian man whose attempted suicide on Wednesday night sparked the hunger strike protest has been returned to the detention, but is under constant surveillance with up to four guards watching his every move.

Asylum seekers’ access to the internet had been cut off from the start of the hunger strike yesterday (Thursday 1 November), but was restored around 8.00pm last night.

The Salvation Army manager had demanded an apology from the hunger strikers for comments that had allegedly been made on social media before she would restore access to the internet.

“Rather than spend time excising the Australian mainland from the migration zone, the Minister’s time would be better spent addressing the humanitarian disaster that off-shore processing has created on Nauru,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The rate of arrival of asylum seekers to Australia has been greater in the two months after the 13 August and the beginning of Labor’s off-shore processing regime than in the months before that.

“One day after excising the mainland, there are still thousands of asylum seekers, including families and unaccompanied minors, in mainland detention centres and on Nauru, still waiting for processing to begin. It is only a matter of time until the kind of protest on Nauru spreads to the mainland detention centres.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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