Nauru asylum seekers hunger strike after guard brutality leaves six unconscious

| June 26, 2013 | Reply

A brutal response by security guards at the Nauru detention centre to a protest, yesterday afternoon, by recently arrived asylum seekers, left six of the protesters unconscious.

The protest began late afternoon yesterday (Tuesday 25 June) after Department of Immigration officials addressed a meeting of around 50 Palestinians, Sudanese and Lebanese asylum seekers recently transferred from Christmas Island to Nauru.

“We were told that the lawyers will not meet us for at least six months,” asylum seekers told the Refugee Action Coalition, from Nauru.

The protest began at the end of the meeting. Wilson Security detention guards responded brutally, leaving six Palestinian asylum seekers unconscious. Two of them have been kept in the medical centre overnight.

Up to 35 asylum seekers have now begun a hunger strike in protest at the brutality and over the delay in processing their refugee claims.

“We are calling for a full inquiry into the guard’s brutality. They must be held accountable for their actions,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“We are also calling for Nauru to be closed. The transfer of Palestinians and Sudanese to Nauru was a particularly bloody-minded move by the Labor government to deliberately disadvantage individuals they know Australia will be obliged to protect. While Manus Island detention centre collapses in a dysfunctional chaos, Nauru has become the dumping ground for Australia’s detention regime.

“We support those Labor backbenchers who have called on the government to end off-shore processing and its associated so-called ‘No advantage’ rules.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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