Nauru government bans media access to country

After flow of refugees and turbulent rape allegations in country, Nauru government bans media access to country, worrying human rights activists

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Refugees arrive Nauru

The Nauran government, which hosts Australia’s refugees, has banned all news reporting activity in the country, prompting concern from human rights researchers and activists. In an attempt to prevent journalists from entering the country, Nauru has increased the application fees for journalists visas from from AUD 200 ($145) to a non-refundable AUD 8,000 ($5,821) per person.  

Graham Thom from Amnesty Australia said "It's interesting that Nauru would be so blatant. Clearly they won't allow anybody there to actually look for themselves and make an independent assessment about what's going on."

"It's not surprising they won't let people go, but it is scary that Australia is funding an independent country to detain people, to house people, and won't allow any independent scrutiny of those centres,"  he added.

From Indonesia, a large number of Afgan, Sri Lankan, Iraqi and Iranian refugees have been going to Australia by boat. The number of the boats have greatly increased in 2012 and 2013. In order to stop the influx, the government has taken some harsher precautions.

Australia has some migrant detention centres that hosts refugees in Nauru which is an ‘’island’’ nation. Amnesty International which has called for an end to offshore detention centres of Australia, said that a review had uncovered a "dangerous lack of accountability and transparency" as well as abuse allegations.

Last month, an Australian senate report found that conditions of refugees in detention centres are not appropriate or safe.

Even though there have been some rape claims in detention centres in Nauru, Australia's new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended the offshore migrant detention centres - a central policy of his predecessor Tony Abbott - by claiming they save lives.

TRTWorld and agencies