Sexual abuse, rape threats alleged by Nauru asylum seekers

Asylum seekers have made allegations of sexual abuse of women and children and threats of rape by guards working in the detention centre on Nauru.

One female detainee has detailed her claims to Fairfax Media and Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, including threats that she would be raped if her refugee status was recognised and she was released into the Nauruan community.

The allegations come as protests and acts of self-harm continue in the centre over the decision to offer people on Christmas Island temporary protection and work rights in Australia, but not the 1233 asylum seekers currently being held in Nauru.

Senator Hanson-Young has written to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison asking for an independent investigation into the allegations that;

– Female asylum seekers were told by guards that they must expose their bodies in order to be allowed to shower for longer than two minutes.

– Guards offered illicit drugs, including marijuana, in return for sex from asylum seekers.

– One Australian guard ordered two underage asylum seekers to have sex in front of him. The incident happened six months ago and the guard has since left the island, it has been alleged.

– One asylum seeker was threatened that she would be raped once she leaves the centre by a guard and his wife.

The asylum seeker, who asked not to be identified, said guards in the detention centre were saying to female asylum seekers: “If you want to take a shower for more than two minutes, you have to show your body.” She also said two guards told her: “When you get out of here, we have a plan for you. We are going to find you and f— you.”

Another asylum seeker alleged an Australian guard said he wanted to have sex with children on the island and forced two underage asylum seekers to perform sexual acts in front on him.

“He tried to have sex with them,” she said. “He then made the children have sex with each other.”

Senator Hanson-Young called on Mr Morrison to “act immediately” over the allegations.

“The Australian government is actively and intentionally destroying women and children on Nauru,” she said.

Transfield Services, which was awarded a $1.22 billion contract this year to manage Australia’s offshore processing centres in Nauru and Manus Island, also subcontracts security to Wilson Security on Nauru. But a spokesman declined to comment, saying: “I’ll defer you to the minister’s office.”

A spokeswoman for Mr Morrison said: “Senator Hanson-Young’s allegations have been referred to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.”

A spokesman for the Immigration Department said “a formal response will have to come from the minister’s office”.

The first asylum seeker also detailed multiple of acts of self-harm among detainees in Nauru after Mr Morrison announced that asylum seekers on Christmas Island would be offered two forms of temporary protection on the mainland if found to be refugees, with some eventual prospect of permanent residency.

“It is just horrible,” she told Fairfax Media, saying all the children in the detention population were distressed, with several hurting themselves and some young girls sewing their lips together. “It’s not fair.”

The 1233 asylum seekers on Nauru are also anxious at the prospect of being pressured to accept permanent protection in Cambodia, one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in Asia, under the deal struck with Mr Morrison on Friday. But their main grievance is why they are being treated differently to people who are on Christmas Island when they all arrived after July 19.

In a video obtained by Fairfax Media, asylum seekers are shown holding banners saying: “What is the difference between asylum seekers in Nauru with those in Christmas Island? All came after July 19!” Nauruan police are then seen removing the banner from the children who are holding it.

It is believed a contingent of additional guards have been flown to the island from Brisbane in anticipation of further unrest.

via Sexual abuse, rape threats alleged by Nauru asylum seekers.

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