16 Dec 2003

Australian immigration officials reportedly ignore Nauru hunger strike

4:41 pm on 16 December 2003

An Australian refugee advocate says Australian government officials are making no effort to end a hunger strike on Nauru being staged by asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

24 people are taking part in the strike which began six days ago.

So far, six have needed hospital treatment.

Australian-based Elaine Smith, who is in regular email contact with the strikers, says no officials from the Australian Immigration Service, which is responsible for the camps, have been sighted since the strike began.

"So you know the IOM, the managers of the camp, are providing some supportive care like cold compresses, iv fluids, things like that, but as far as anybody makes an attempt on official level to solve the problem, there is nobody."