In a monster effort to expose the devastating trauma inflicted on detainees held by Australia on Nauru, The Guardian Australia has today published over 2,000 leaked incident reports detailing the assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions experienced by asylum seekers.
Over half of the incidents in the Nauru Files involve children (51.3%), despite children only making up about 18% of those in detention. The reports are as sobering as they are confronting, and range from incidents of self-harm by detainees to Wilson Security Officers abusing both their power and their charges.
A few examples of the incidence reports include:
- October 2014. A security officer approached a female detainee hospitalised after swallowing washing powder. Left alone with the woman, he stroked her leg and face and said her problem was that she hadn’t had sex in two years. “Why don’t you have sex with me?”
- September 2014. A young girl was laughed at by officers after she sowed her lips together. When her father demanded an apology from the ringleader the following night, he was told that the officer in question was at the airport, information that allegedly caused him to “significantly” self-harm later.
- January 2015. A detainee reported that another detainee’s young son had been sexually assaulted by an officer while they were being transported in the back of a car.
- October 2015. A pregnant detainee told a case worker that if she couldn’t have her baby in Australia, she would use a razor blade to perform her own cesarian and kill herself. “If I am made to have my baby on Nauru, I will have my baby in my tent and kill myself and my baby. I will not raise another child on Nauru.”
- June 2014. A young girl wrote in her school book that she was tired, didn’t like the camp, and wanted to die.
In a truly astounding piece of digital journalism by The Guardian, every single one of the incidents are available to be seen in a sophisticated interactive here, and are colour-coded into yellow (minor), orange (major) and red (critical).
Paul Farrell, one of three Guardian journalists who worked on the Nauru Files, said that each of these reports are direct eyewitness testimony.
The Nauru files are the accounts of the guards, caseworkers, teachers and children protection officers. It’s direct eyewitness testimony
— Paul Farrell (@FarrellPF) August 9, 2016
The Guardian has even set up a page advising people on how to contact the reporting team more securely.
Amnesty International‘s Senior Director for Research Anna Neistat accused the Australian government of one of the “most successful mass cover-ups I’ve witnessed in my career of documenting human rights violations. They’ve repeatedly said this kind of abuse has not been going on. They’ve been lying.”
She said the leak “has laid bare a system of ‘routine dysfunction and cruelty’ that is at once dizzying in its scale and utterly damning for the Australian authorities who tried so hard to maintain a veil of secrecy”, and that Australia must resettle all refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island immediately.
GetUp‘s Human Rights Director Shen Narayanasamy said that the leak showed the level of child abuse was “worse than we previously knew” and echoed Amnesty’s call to bring all detainees to Australia immediately.
Neither Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull nor Immigration Minister Peter Dutton have yet to make an official statement.
Source: The Guardian.
Photo: Facebook / Free The Children NAURU.