Extent Of Horrors At Nauru Being Revealed Now At Senate Inquiry

The State inquiry into Nauru detention centre begins today in Canberra, and submissions have revealed the extent of the horrors faced by asylum seekers.

Sexual assault. Self harm. Squalid living conditions. It’s unspeakably awful.

As per reports on ABC, the submissions are coming from professionals and organisations who have visited Nauru, and tell of the daily hell faced by the people detained there.

One submission, from Professor David Isaacs, details seeing a patient who had allegedly been raped while going to the toilet at night.

“When interviewing the [patient] referred to me, she confided to me that she had been raped,” he wrote. “She told me that since the rape, one guard had offered her extra shower time in return for sexual favours.” He writes that another guard offered marijuana for sexual favours.

When Wilson Security, the company providing integrated security services at Nauru, was asked to give evidence about this incident, they were unable to explain themselves.

Another submission, from the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (IARC), tells the story of a woman who’s son had been sexually assaulted three times, and how he is now speaking about attempting suicide.

A third, from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), details the squalid living conditions. “At night, condensation causes the mould to drip onto the faces of people as they sleep on stretchers,” it read. “This is causing fungal eye and skin infections.”

“The tents are full of mice and cockroaches. Rats loiter outside the tents.”

The inquiry into Nauru was launched following the Moss Report, which detailed sexual and physical assaults on asylum seekers.

Former Nauru magistrate Peter Law (who was fired by Nauru president Baron Waqa in 2014, an act which is believed to be politically motivated), also made a submission, which indicates Nauru is not a fit choice to settle asylum seekers.

“The failure … to bring changes suggest political interference and highlights an unwillingness to bring to public attention, the circumstances of refugees in Nauru generally. Such action may reflect adversely on Nauru as a place to process and settle asylum seekers.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is still repeating his rhetoric of ‘stop the boats’:

Meanwhile, a protest against the treatment of children at Nauru is currently underway in Sydney. Love Makes A Way, a Christian group “seeking an end to Australia’s inhumane asylum seeker policies”, is currently taking part in a sit-in at Malcolm Turnbull’s Edgecliff office.

“We know children are being abused in our immigration detention centres and we know that is any other child in Australia were living in an abusive home we’d act without hesitation to protect that child,” said Reverend Mary Hurst, who is participating in today’s sit-in.

“The federal government says it accepts the recommendations of the Moss Review which told of shocking allegations of sexual abuse at the immigration detention centre on Nauru. We are calling on the Australian government to take immediate action to remove all children from this unsafe environment.”

Let’s not stop at children. Let’s get everyone out of Nauru.

Seeking asylum is a human right.