A group of 29 refugees, including eight children, became the fifth group of refugees to escape detention when they left Nauru on March 4 for resettlement in the US. The group consisted of Sri Lankan, Rohingyan and Afghan families, and single men from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Since the US resettlement deal began in September a total of 139 refugees have left Nauru and 85 have left Manus Island.

There have been numerous instances of human rights abuses since the Nauru detention centre was reopened in 2013 and then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that no refugee who arrived by boat would ever be settled in Australia.

The Guardian’s Nauru Files gave detailed accounts of children being assaulted, women sexually abused by guards and suicide attempts being laughed at.

The Refugee Council of Australia called for a bipartisan commitment on offshore detention on February 1.

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The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has called on political leaders to urgently bring the people imprisoned on Manus Island and Nauru to safety in Australia.

Detention Voices from Manus, Nauru, Christmas Island and Australia released this transcript of a letter from people held in detention on Nauru on March 26.

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Message from Nauru detention to the world.

Many hearts, one voice, that's our freedom.

“Thank you for these protests. We love you and our hearts are with you in this moment.”

This message was sent from a refugee inside Northam Detention Centre in West Australia to activists who were protesting outside in 2014.

Messages like this inspire many of us to get active and persist with campaigns to make the world more humane.

A whole generation, to which I belong, has only known mandatory detention: it was introduced by “left” Labor immigration minister Gerry Hand in 1992.

Racism and homophobia are on the rise. Millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) and sex and gender diverse identifying (SGDI) people face life-threatening persecution.

About 2.7 billion people live in the 76 countries that criminalise homosexuality. The death penalty for homosexuality is applied in Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. In China, several hospitals use electric shock therapy as “anti-gay treatments”.

Profits have soared for the operator of Australia's detention camps for asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea on Manus Island and on Nauru.

Broadspectrum, which used to be called Transfield Services, announced it had trebled its net profit for the first half of the year to $25.1 million.

Broadspectrum has been awarded a 12-month extension on its contract providing operational, welfare and security services to asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island. It has told investors it is the "preferred tenderer" for a new five-year contract it hopes to sign this year.

Dear Prime Minister,

Following the High Court's recent decision in Plaintiff M68/2015 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, we, the undersigned law firms, community legal organisations, legal bodies and legal associations, jointly urge you to let the 267 individuals at risk of removal to offshore processing centres stay in Australia. We strongly advocate for the end of offshore detention and request you bring all asylum seekers and refugees in regional processing facilities back to mainland Australia.

On February 18, a delegation of Victoria University staff and students delivered a letter to the office of Tim Watts, Labor MP for the federal seat of Gellibrand.

The letter, signed by 125 students and teachers — in only two days and before most students were back at university — pleaded with Watts to follow Premier Daniel Andrews' example and advocate that the 267 vulnerable asylum seekers, including 36 babies, not be sent back to Nauru.

Photo by Marziya Mohammedali

The High Court ruled on February 3 that the federal government has the power to send 267 refugees and asylum seekers to Nauru, with only 72 hours' notice. But a #LetThemStay groundswell across the country is demanding the refugees be allowed to stay -- with snap protests across the country.

The 267 people includes 37 babies — many of whom were born in Australia — and at least 15 women who were allegedly sexually assaulted on Nauru.


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