The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released the statement below on November 5.
* * *
The hunger strike by asylum seekers on Nauru is now in its fifth day, still with around 300 asylum seekers refusing food. The asylum seekers report that they have the signatures of 300 people who are taking part in the hunger strike but they have been prevented from scanning the document to send to the media.
Today, at least five people have been taken to the medical centre, taking the total people treated over the course of the hunger to 60.
In an unexpected move, this (Monday) morning Australian Federal Police and Nauruan police attended the detention centre. The Australian Federal Police asked asylum seekers if they would meet with the Nauruan police but the asylum seekers refused.
Some time later, two Iranian men were handed summonses to appear in a Nauru court on November 19 to face unspecified criminal charges – presumably arising from the property damage during a protest in late September.
Three Iranian men spent the night in a Nauru police cell on September 30, but were released without charge and returned to the detention centre the following day.
“This is an attempt to pressure us to stop the hunger strike,” said one asylum seeker from the Nauru camp, “They are trying to scare us.”
“We will continue the hunger strike. Our demands are the same – close Nauru, take us to Australia and begin processing immediately.”
[For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713.]