Nauru detention centre

Iranian-Kurdish journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani has been detained on Manus Island for almost five years. The theme of home in the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s campaign to was inspired by Behrouz, whose vision of home is “humanity”.

Around 500 refugees on Nauru have to Australian Border Force demanding a timetable for refugee resettlement, to be immediately resettled in Australia pending any further resettlement options and to reunite families that have been separated.

The federal government has awarded a lucrative contract running refugee facilities on Nauru to a Queensland-based engineering firm, despite the company having no experience in providing refugee services.

Canstruct International Pty Ltd has won the $8 million contract to run “garrison and welfare services” from November 1.

The move has been slammed by human rights groups.

Amnesty International accused Canstruct of taking up a “toxic contract” that profits from the abuse of asylum seekers.

The Refugee Action Collective organised a public meeting on November 7, addressed by Harry Wicks, who had worked as a carpenter at the Nauru detention centre and Bernard, a Malaysian who has done volunteer work at refugee camps in Malaysia.

Wicks said that Nauru, a small island with a population of 10,000 people, has a 90% unemployment rate.

Refugee supporters rallied in Sydney on October 5 in solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru who held their 200th consecutive day of protest against their illegal detention that day.

Speakers included Danielle Austin, a former nurse on Christmas Island and convener of Mums for Refugees; Dr Barri Phatarfod, a convener of Doctors4Refugees; and Judith Reen, a former teacher on Nauru.

Connect Settlement Services, the company that provides welfare services for refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, has told the federal government it will not re-apply when its contract lapses in December.

The company, which has about 100 staff on the island, provides health and education services and helps refugees look for work in the Nauru community.

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act — Australia’s federal hate speech law — has tended to dominate public debate about free speech for the past few years. This has meant other important laws that restrict free speech in broad ways are being overlooked.

While the 18C debate has raged, important new restrictions on freedom of speech have been introduced in Australia. These have flown much further under the radar. These restrictions should concern us, because they have a wide-ranging impact on the freedom of speech that is essential to democratic deliberation.

Deaths in Custody Watch Committee WA and Refugee Rights Action Network WA released this joint statement on August 10. * * * Every afternoon at 4pm on Nauru, asylum seeking adults and children stage a peaceful protest at the gate of the OPC3 family camp, which they have done since March 20 (Palm Sunday). Four weeks into their protest, refugees in the RPC3 camp opposite joined them.
A boy is grabbed around the throat, his head is smashed against the ground twice and then a chair is thrown onto him by a security guard. Many people witnessed and reported the incident.
Refugee rights activist Stephen Langford was at Waverley Court on June 29 facing charges for writing "Omid" on the electorate office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Omid Masoumali was a young asylum seeker detained in Nauru who died after he set himself on fire. After an initial hearing, the case was adjourned to July 27. Langford made this speech outside the court. * * *
It is amazing the conversations one overhears sometimes. I was attending a vigil for Omid Masoumali, the young asylum seeker who died a few days after he set himself on fire in Australia's notorious refugee detention camp in Nauru. The atmosphere at the vigil was sad and tense. Among those at vigil were two young women quietly holding flickering candles. Another woman holding a Teachers for Refugees banner asked the young women: “What school are you from?” “I am not at school,” replied one of the young women.
A vigil was held in Sydney on May 4 in solidarity with Hodan Yasin, a 19-year-old Somali asylum seeker. She is in a critical condition after setting herself on fire in Australia's notorious offshore refugee detention centre on the Pacific island state of Nauru. Just a few days before people had assembled in the same spot in Sydney Town Hall square for a vigil for Omid, a young Iranian asylum seeker who died after also setting himself on fire in Nauru.
A second refugee has self-immolated in the detention centre on Nauru, just days after 23-year-old Iranian refugee Omid Masoumali died in similar circumstances. Hodan, a 19-year-old Somali woman, has been taken to Brisbane by air ambulance, but she suffered burns to more than 70% of her body and her condition remains critical. Witnesses told Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) that all her clothes had been burned off. Another said she had suffered burns to her upper body and face at least as bad as Omid.
Sun filters through as a golden blur in low-resolution photos and a few seconds of shaky video clips — evoking the difficulty of getting footage of a protest the Nauru government does not want you to see. But even with three fences in the way, you can still see the 144 asylum seekers, including children, who are protesting against their detention in the Nauru Regional Processing Centre.
Immigration minister Peter Dutton announced on April 2 that for the first time in a decade there were no children in Australian detention centres. “When I got the call,” he said, “it was something I was proud of.” With the announcement came news that 196 of the 267 asylum seekers who lost the High Court case challenging the government's legal right to deport them to Nauru would be moved to community detention in Australia.
Asylum seekers on Nauru have been protesting their long-term detention every day since March 20. Good Friday marked 1000 days in detention with no refugee determination for some asylum seekers.

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