The Australian Government continues to ignore and wash its hands over yet more news of sexual and physical abuse of refugee children at its island prison on Nauru (see extensive links at end of this article on past abuses). The latest incidents document the rape of a six year old refugee child. Other reports, from a former teacher, describe how refugee children are bullied by Naurean children and teachers to the extent that they no longer feel safe attending school. No one in the Australian Government will accept responsibility for what is going on on Nauru (basically, a client state of Australia). The Australian Government pretends these problems come under Nauruan jurisdiction, even though the refugees would not be on Nauru if the Australian Government had not put them there in the prison camp. In short, the Australian Government is complicit in these crimes against the children held there. Australian lawyers who stop short of instigating legal action to close down the offshore detention centres are equally complicit.
Here is a summary of the latest abuses…
- A six-year-old Iranian refugee child was allegedly sexually abused on Nauru and the perpetrator was caught in the act by her parents. The man has not been arrested or charged.
- A five-year-old asylum seeker was urinated on by a group of Nauruan boys. Asylum seeker girls have been sexually harassed at a Nauruan school, a former teacher claims. Many refugee parents are now too scared to send their children to school on the island state.
In June two Somali refugee women pleaded for help from police after an alleged sexual assault. The attack was the latest in a string of sexual assaults on Nauru, both inside the immigration detention centre, and outside in the refugee community.
In July it was reported that Transfield Services (renamed Broadspectrum), which runs the detention centre at Nauru, was forced to admit that there had been 67 child abuse allegations at the facility – 30 against staff and 37 against asylum seekers.
In October one of the two woman – ‘Abyan’ – who had become pregnant from the June assault tried to have an abortion in Australia. The Australian Government spectacularly turned what should have been a routine medical operation into a PR disaster (the woman was flown to Australia but almost immesdiately, after having received no treatment, flown back to Nauru.) The UN condemned the Australian Government’s role in what happened to this woman. It was later revealed that Australian Immigration officials were well aware, contrary to earlier denials, that ‘Abyan’ had unequivocally wanted an abortion when she was first flown to Australia. After Australians demanded that ‘Abyan’ be flown to Australia a second time, the Australian Government was forced to concede to that demand. ‘Abyan’ is now in Brisbane receiving health care.
Previously, Ben Doherty of Guardian Australia stated: “Critics of the policies – a noisy, sizeable, and growing minority – argue offshore processing ignores the human cost of a detention regime designed to be brutal in order to deter others. Successive parliamentary inquiries and the government’s own investigations have found allegations of systemic sexual abuse of women and children, violence against men and boys, inadequate medical care and neglect on Nauru. Instances of attempted suicide and self-harm are common. Caseworkers report children constantly banging their heads against walls in frustration. Dozens of people have sewn their lips together. Rape victims refuse food for days and weeks.”
The following articles by UndercoverInfo document abuse of refugees at Nauru over the last six months or so…
- Transfield confirms 100’s of asylum-seeker abuses; also allegations against Wilson Security
- As evidence of abuse mounts, prosecution of Abbott Govt in ICC looking more likely
- Australia: gagging law fails to stop refugee abuse testimonies, leaks & legal challenges
- Australian Govt under siege as more damning evidence of refugee detention centre emerges
- Nauru refugee detention centre & child sex abuse: Inquiry testimony damning
For more, click on the ‘Nauru’ tag.