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Amnesty International slams Australian Government, says Nauru is ‘nothing short of torture’ for refugees


Amnesty International has described Australia’s processing of offshore asylum-seekers as ‘nothing short of torture’ under international law.

Amnesty has released a new report, based on the accounts of 58 people on the island.

It believes the Australian Government is purposely inflicting harm on refugees in Nauru, in a bid to stop them coming here.

Amnesty’s senior director for research, Anna Neistat, says she spent five days on the island in July.

‘One of the most shocking things about the human rights violations on Nauru is that they’re being perpetrated, or tolerated, by the Australian government,’ she said.

‘(And) to a certain extent, by the government of Nauru.

‘But we should not forget the entire system is set up by the Australian Government.’

There are renewed calls for the government to process asylum-seekers in Australian following a confronting documentary aired on ABC’s 4Corners program on Monday night.

Amnesty International’s refugee coordinator, Dr Graham Thom, said there needed to be alternative.

‘We don’t want people making dangerous journeys, we don’t want people risking their lives at sea, but holding people in a place where you then deliberately try and crush them, both mentally and physically, is not the way to go about it,’ he said.

The Immigration Department has been approached by Amnesty to verify its allegations.