October 6, 2015
Refugee Action Coalition
REFUGEE ACTION COALITION REJECTS NAURU GOVERNMENT CRITICISMS
The Refugee Action Coalition rejects the assertions of the Nauruan
government made in a press release specifically attacking the Refugee
“The press release was nothing more than self-serving rhetoric
designed to cover-up the serious levels of violence on the island,”
said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. .
The Nauru government has a history of publishing misleading press
releases regarding the treatment of refugees meant to be in their
In March they denied the police violence when arresting peaceful
refugee protesters. They specifically denied arresting children during
those protests until their own police and court reports revealed
The abuse of women, children and men held in custody at that time is
Despiet the claims made in the press release about domestic violence,
the Nauru government stands condemned by its own publications that
admit the high level of domestic violence on Nauru.
The Nauru country plan published in July 2014, by the Pacific Forum
says, “…there is a general consensus that domestic violence, including
sexual and physical violence against children and against women is a
growing problem on the island.”
Nauru’s own, Nauru’s Universal Periodic Review in January 2011
recorded that domestic violence was ‘systemic’ on the island.
Tragically it is the official attitude of the government denying basic
rights to refugees that encourages a minority on Nauru to regard
refugees as literally second -class citizens who can be preyed upon
Local Nauruans have broken into the house that accommodates
unaccompanied minors, sometimes with violent and threatening behavious
at least six times in the last 12 months, the latest incident only in
On the case of the attacks on the two boys reported by the Refugee
Action Coalition, it was other local Nauruans who witnessed the
attacks and called the police. But the police have never interviewed
those local witnesses.
Nor is it co-incidental that the Nauruan police have not investigated
the series of rapes of refugee women on the island. In May, the
Nauruan police denied for four days that an Iranian woman had been
raped, before finally admitting the truth.
The New Zealand government has recently withdrawn funding to Nauru’s
judicial system because it is not independent and accountable and
because of their growing concern at civil rights abuses on the island.
“It is to the eterenal shame of the Australian government that it has
been rendered mute in the face of the abuses on Nauru,” said Rintoul,
“But their silence is evidence of their own complicity.”
Neither the Australian nor the Nauruan government will face up to it,
but the facts are on the side of the Refugee Action Coalition.
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713