17 May 2004

Australia accepts some refugees from its Nauru detention centre

1:31 pm on 17 May 2004

The Australian Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone, says 15 Afghan asylum seekers on Nauru have been granted refugee status.

The decisions are the first to be handed down as a result of a re-examination of cases on Nauru.

Minister Vanstone says most of the 15 people will be offered resettlement in Australia.

Three people who have been denied refugee status and are being encouraged to return home.

In December, Australia promised to re-examine applications of 180 asylum seekers on Nauru.

The Minister says further decisions will be made in due course relating to the remaining asylum seekers.

Australia holds nearly 300 detainees on Nauru, some of whom for nearly three years.