Urgent action needed to end the horror on Nauru; raped refugees must be brought to Australia

| September 29, 2015 | Reply

There have been increased threats against refugees on Nauru this morning, following the broadcast of the ABC’s 7.30 program on Monday night highlighting recent alleged incidents of rape on the island.

This morning, Tuesday 29 September, one Somali refugee was approached and threatened by two local men who told her, “We will kill you. We know you. Do not make stories.”

Others have reported increased abuse and threatening gestures.

There are also reports that two refugees have been sacked from their jobs this morning because of the ABC program.

The ABC program 7.30 on sexual assault allegations on Nauru has lifted the lid on the scale of abuse women are suffering on Nauru. Urgent action is needed in both cases highlighted by the program.

In one case, the Australian government, Border Force and IHMS, the medical provider on Nauru IHMS has ignored the request for a termination by a 23 year-old Somali woman who became pregnant after a sexual assault. She is now 10 weeks pregnant.

“The need for action by the government to meet her request grows more urgent by the day,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “Despite her requesting a termination for weeks, the woman is now 10 weeks pregnant.

“It is simply unbelievable that health authorities have not acted sooner. She is in a fragile state, yet those who have a duty of care are recklessly playing with her mental and physical health.”

The woman known as “Najma” by the ABC’s 7.30, also should be brought to Australia immediately.

“Najma lives in daily terror,” said Ian Rintoul, “Like other refugee women in the community on Nauru, she is completely vulnerable. Many of the refugee houses are remote; have no lighting and no security. Like so many others, the perpetrators of her assault remain at large. Their houses are not secure; the door locks can be, and often are, slipped with a knife blade, leaving them exposed to assault and theft.

“Many of the Somali women refugees on Nauru have been found to be refugees because they have been victims of sexual abuse.

“Najma was held captive by a rebel Somali group in 2004 and 2005 and was sexually assaulted and abused over those two years and her suffering didn’t stop then. Rather than finding protection on Nauru, Najma is facing the same kind of persecution she faced in Somalia.

“The government has been aware of the shocking rate of sexual abuse on Nauru for a long time. One Iranian rape victim was kept on Nauru from May until August before finally being brought to Australia. She is still waiting for her family to join her.

“The Australian government has created a living hell for Najma and others on Nauru. Nauru is not safe, and must be closed.

“Malcolm Turnbull has made concern about domestic violence a hallmark of the new government. The violence against women on Nauru is as bad as the domestic violence in Australia. It is violence that the government is ultimately responsible for.

“The Prime Minister has the power to immediately to end the violence against the refugee women on Nauru. The only question is, ’Will he?’”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713


Category: Press releases

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