Almost 200 refugees including up to 80 women have been held in
detention overnight after mass arrests on Nauru, throughout Wednesday,
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
The Nauruan government seems determined to take the arrestees
through the court although it is not clear what charges could be laid
“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
“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
Refugees at liberty on Nauru have told the Refugee Action Coalition
that their campaign of non-cooperation will continue until they get
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713