MINISTER PLAYING LOOSE WITH NAURU ASYLUM AND SELF-HARM FIGURES

> Refugee Action Coalition
> MEDIA ALERT
>
> MINISTER PLAYING LOOSE WITH NAURU ASYLUM AND SELF-HARM FIGURES
>
> The attempt by the Immigration Minister and The Weekend Australian
> (February 6-7) to link self-harm on Nauru with family members being
> brought to Australia is another shameful effort to cover up the real
> conditions on Nauru.
>
> The people who have been brought to Australia have been brought
> because there was no adequate medical treatment for their physical and
> mental damage available on Nauru.
>
> Refugee and asylum seekers have been brought to Australia to give
> birth, for kidney and heart disease, burns, bullet wounds and other
> physical injuries suffered in their home countries, back injuries,
> cancer, sexual assault and rape victims.
>
> “The Minister will not release figures about the any self-harm cases
> because he knows they would put the lie to any idea that self-harm is
> a major reason anyone has been brought from Nauru to Australia. Let
> alone the idea that family members have come with them. It is just not
> true,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action
> Coalition.
>
> “Peter Dutton has also had another ‘Scott Morrison’ moment, suggesting
> that children were being coached into self-harm. Just as Scott
> Morrison had no evidence against Save the Children workers or anybody
> else, Peter Dutton has no evidence of his coaching allegations.”
>
> The Minister’s concern that ‘self harm was a way of getting to
> Australia and appealing for residency’ is a complete fiction.
>
> Similarly, it is absurd for Minister Dutton to suggest that the
> alternative to sending people to Nauru is to send them to their home
> countries.
>
> “The Minister’s comments do reveal the motivation behind the
> government policy; to use confinement on Nauru to create insufferable
> conditions that could force asylum seekers to consider return to
> persecution,” said Rintoul.
>
> “The Minister knows that refugees cannot be sent to their home
> country. Most of the 267 presently in Australia are still waiting for
> their refugee assessment more than two years after being on Nauru.”
>
> One Somali refugee on Nauru told the Refugee Action Coalition, “Nauru
> is Somalia. There is no safety here.”
>
> The lack of medical facilities on Nauru still sees a large number of
> asylum seekers and refugees being taken for treatment in other
> countries.
>
> “There really is no alternative for the 267 who are in Australia. The
> Minister should ‘let them stay’ where they can the care and
> protection they need.”
>
> Meanwhile on Nauru, Friday 5 February, the main supermarket near
> Anibare refused to serve refugees. Some refugees queued for most of
> the day, but still were not served, after being told that only
> Nauruans could buy goods.
>
> For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713