A new Amnesty International report has revealed Australia’s offshore detention policies are not only relentlessly cruel to detainees on Nauru, but they are cruel in a systematic manner amounting to torture.
The Island Of Despair report states the way the Nauru detention centre operates is “explicitly designed to inflict incalculable damage on hundreds of women, men and children,” with the goal of convincing other asylum seekers not to attempt entering Australia.
The report drew from the rampant reports of self-harm, suicide, and abuse, as well as interviews with asylum seekers and former contractors who worked at the facility. That evidence lead Amnesty to deem the centre in violation of international law.
Amnesty’s Senior Director of Research Dr Anna Neistat told Fairfax she “was not prepared for what I saw, and definitely not prepared for what I heard” on Nauru. In her view, “when you set up a system that inflicts deliberate harm as a deterrence, it’s really hard to find another name for it other than torture.”
As a result of those horrifying findings, she said the UN Committee Against Torture has every right to investigate the Australian government for its involvement in the centre. She said “this needs to be stopped. It’s unlawful, it’s harmful, it amounts to torture.”
Photo: Four Corners / ABC.
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