Nauru

Eighty days on hunger strike has put an Iranian man who sought safety in Australia at death's door, as advocates around Australia fight for the immigration department to act to save his life.

“Martin” took the non-violent step to refuse to eat last November after the Australian government denied him refugee protection and redetained him in the remote Wickham Point Detention Centre. At least 15 other men in the same situation as Martin have also taken up a hunger strike.

Nauru detention camps’ water reserves are close to running dry, leaked emails showed on September 10.

A Transfield operations manager wrote in an email: “We are currently nearly out of water … Due to recent outages at the DIBP RO [immigration department reverse osmosis facility] we have not been able to build up stock so have been slowly going backwards.”

The release of up to 150 children under the age of 10 from residential detention is not a humanitarian move by the government, in case you were wondering.

Immigration minister Scott Morrison claimed that issuing bridging visas to 150 children and their families to live in the community was a “dividend of stopping the boats”.

World Refugee Day is dedicated each year to raising awareness about the more than 43.7 million refugees and internally displaced people around the world. The United Nations and non-government organisations usually share refugee stories and make pleas for compassion and empathy.

But in Australia, refugees and asylum seekers are treated like the enemy in a war: the target of a highly resourced, military-led “deterrence” strategy complete with arbitrary detainment, detention camps, guards to terrorise them, forced deportations and the violent suppression of those who protest.

For years the federal budget has been brutal on refugees and asylum seekers. Each year for the past two decades, visa places have been cut or made more difficult to gain, and services and rights to appeal are cut. The rights of people seeking protection in Australia are slowly eroded while detention centres get bigger and bigger budgets.

Now, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey have revealed a budget that takes the war on refugees to new heights — with a newly merged border control agency, more patrol boats and the axing of independent oversight of refugee processing.

A former welfare worker at the Nauru refugee detention camp says the July 19 riot that razed most of the Topside compound was an “inevitable outcome” of a “cruel and degrading policy”, in a new book released last week.

The Undesirables by Mark Isaacs follows several big whistleblower revelations that have come from Nauru since the camp was re-established by then-PM Julia Gillard in August 2012.

As a mother and her baby fight to avoid the “rat-infested” Nauru refugee camp, a Fairfax-Nielsen poll showed half of Australian voters disapprove of the Coalition government's refugee policy. The poll also showed Prime Minister Tony Abbott has come to the end of what has been described as the shortest “honeymoon period” of a PM in history. Abbott's popularity took an unprecedented dive — with a personal approval rating of 1%, believed to be fuelled by his attitude to the “diplomatic stand-off” with Indonesia over substantial spying allegations.

Seven Iranian families — comprising 14 adults and 12 children — were sent to Nauru’s detention camp on August 21. Immigration minister Tony Burke said the children were aged between five and 15. He said more families would be sent to the island and “before long” unaccompanied minors would also face possible removal from Australia to Nauru.

The Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below on August 21.

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The Refugee Action Coalition has condemned the Labor government’s transfer of asylum seeker families to Nauru.

Nauru's terrible poverty, stagnant economy and unstable administration has paved the way for its main aid-provider, the Australian government, to sign it up for a similar refugee “deal” as Papua New Guinea.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that refugees who arrived in Australia by boat could be sent for processing and then would “settle and reside” on Nauru.

The Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below on March 13. The day before, ABC Online said five asylum seekers had escaped the centre, but were returned quickly.

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The Nauru Director of the Department of Immigration has told a meeting of asylum seekers in the Nauru detention camp that their refugee assessments will begin “in about 10 days” [on March 18].

The initial refugee assessments are expected to be finalised in about six months.

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