Arrested Nauru Refugees Held Overnight. Human Rights Observers Needed

March 5, 2015

Almost 200 refugees including up to 80 women have been held in

detention overnight after mass arrests on Nauru, throughout Wednesday,

4 March.

The underage children being held by police, including one 7 year old

who had been arrested early Wednesday morning, were removed from

police cells by case workers, yesterday. However, many then spent the

night without their parents who remained in custody.

 

More information emerged about Wednesday’s  police action,

including that the police had arrested refugees inside the family

compound as early as 4.00am.

 

The police action continued throughout the day with a further 50

refugees being arrested outside the police station at Yaren, in the

afternoon, as they waited for news of those arrested and demanded

their release.

 

The Nauruan government seems determined to take the arrestees

through the court although it is not clear what charges could be laid

against them.

 

“Independent legal and human rights observers are urgently needed on

Nauru. The Nauru government is trying to criminalise the refugees.

This kind of action is straight out of the Australian Immigration

detention handbook, said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee

Action Coalition.

 

“Service providers Connect say they cannot help those arrested. The

Nauruan judicial system cannot be called fair or independent given the

history of Nauruan governments sacking magistrates and legal officers

that defy their wishes,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the

Refugee Action Coalition.

 

“This is not the first time that Nauru police and the courts have been

used to trample on the democratic rights of asylum seekers and

refugees. Scores of asylum seekers were wrongly arrested and held on

trumped up charges after the so-called riots in July 2013.”

 

“The Nauruan government is perpetuating the persecution of refugees

who came to Australia seeking protection. It is being paid tens of

millions of dollars to maintain a Pacific penal colony on behalf of

Australia.”

 

Refugees at liberty on Nauru have told the Refugee Action Coalition

that their campaign of non-cooperation will continue until they get

their freedom.

 

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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