Wollongong activists before their large Reclaim the Night rally on October 29. Two hundred people rallied in Melbourne on October 24 as part of the annual Reclaim the Night march to stop violence against women. Rally speakers spoke in support of the Somali refugee woman known as Abyan and other women who have been sexually assaulted while imprisoned in Nauru detention centre.
Foreign journalists are not welcome in Nauru. This is because of the erosion of rule of law and national sovereignty that has occurred as a result of the tiny and impoverished nation's government hiring out the island as a location for one of Australia's concentration camps for refugees. The point of locating the camps on remote Pacific Islands is so that the deliberate ill-treatment of refugees — which is what “deterrence” means — can happen out of sight and beyond the meagre protection of Australian law.
Hundreds gathered outside the Immigration Department office in Melbourne on October 19, chanting, “Bring back Abyan” and “Close Nauru, close Manus”. Rallies were also held that day outside Immigration Department offices in Sydney and Darwin. In Brisbane, protesters targeted immigration minister Peter Dutton's office on October 21. Protests were also held in Canberra, Sydney and Perth on October 23 and Melbourne on October 24.
Immigration department officials seized pregnant Somali refugee Abyan from Villawood detention centre and flew her to the Solomon Islands on October 16, with the plan to fly her from there to Nauru. Abyan had been flown in from Nauru four days earlier to see doctors regarding the planned termination of a pregnancy that resulted from her being raped while in detention on the island.