Refugee wounded in vicious machete attack on Nauru

March 11, 2016
The man was struck across the top of the head by a machete.

The Refugee Action Coalition released this statement on March 9.

* * *

A 34 year-old Iranian refugee on Nauru was savagely attacked by two Nauruans on March 5 at about 10pm.

Two Nauruans on a motor cycle approached the man who was walking alone near the Nibok settlement. The man was struck across the top of the head by a machete, while the attacking Nauruans said, “Fuck refugees”. The Iranian man was left with a deep head wound that required 8 stitches.

The following night, March 6, locals returned to attack the accommodation at Nibok that the man shares with his wife. The husband and wife barricaded themselves inside their accommodation and screamed for help, as the attackers yelled, “Fuck refugees. We will kill you.” Other refugees in the area rallied to support the couple.

Nauruan police were called but they took one and a half hours to attend to the scene of the attack. Police told the refugees there was nothing they could do.

Now the couple are living in fear of a further attack. Neither the police nor immigration or Connect will provide a guard for their accommodation. “We cannot sleep for fear we will be attacked again,” the victim's wife told the Refugee Action Coalition.

Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition, said: “The unprovoked attack once again reveals both the real danger and the complete absence of official willingness to protect refugees on Nauru. The lack of security at Nibok and other camps on Nauru leaves refugees open to attack.”

The Nibok attack comes at the same time as reports of growing numbers of thefts and incidents of Nauruans armed with knives threatening refugees at the Fly Camp that accommodates single men.

The dangers for refugees on Nauru forms the backdrop to the ongoing “Let Them Stay” campaign calling on the Turnbull government to allow the 267 asylum seekers presently in Australia from Nauru and Manus Island, to remain in Australia.

“There is no prospect for enduring protection or care for asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru,” said Rintoul, “The 267 must be allowed to stay and the camps must be closed.”

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