April 7, 2016
Refugee Action Coalition
> MEDIA RELEASE
> TEENAGERS INJURED BY GUARDS IN NAURU PROTEST
> Around 7.30pm Wednesday night, eight teenagers and their families were
> summoned to receive a letter from Australian Border Force in reply to
> their protest letter sent two days ago. (Letter below)
> As the dismissive quality of the ABF letter became obvious –
> including absurd statements about the quality of medical conditions
> and education on Nauru, or going to Cambodia – an angry protest
> (The Nauru school is dilapidated and conditions are rudimentary at
> best – see photo below – other available on request. )
> Australian Wilson guards lashed out at the teenagers, inflicting minor
> injuries. Others in the family compound, including
> women, compound were pushed over by the guards.
> “Guards hit us and kicked us, “ one of the teenagers told the Refugee
> Action Coalition.
> One woman who was pushed over in the fracas has suffered a heart
> attack and was taken to the IHMS clinic. Another woman who swallowed
> washing powder in the aftermath of the protest is also in the IHMS
> The guards eventually retreated from the compound.
> The protests continued late into the night, with cries of, “We are not
> animals,” “You don’t answer.”
> The head Wilson guard refused to respond to the complaints about the
> assaults and injuries inflicted on the asylum seekers. The guard told
> the protesters that the complaints about the assaults would be taken
> ‘to the big boss tonight’ and there would be a response, today
> Thursday, 7 April.
> The escalation in the protests comes after 18 days of daily protests
> at the family compound. A sign of the deteriorating situation on Nauru
> was the graffiti, ABF=卐 , which appeared a wall inside the family
> compound on Sunday night.
> “Until the government addresses the fundamental problem with Nauru,
> the protests will continue,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the
> Refugee Action Coalition, “The asylum seekers were selectively
> discriminated against when they were sent there. Some have waited ‘in
> hell’ for three years without having a refugee determination.
> “The Minister has boasted that getting children out of detention was
> always a goal of the Turnbull government, but that claim is at odds
> with the fact that children, women and men are being held on Nauru –
> and that the 267 who are presently in Australia are still being
> threatened to be returned to the prison island.”
> Video clip available on request.
> For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713.