20 Jun 2006

New Australian probe of refugees in Nauru welcomed

3:37 pm on 20 June 2006

The move by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to interview the two Iraqi men held on Nauru has been welcomed by supporters of the refugees.

The Iraqis have been interviewed by the ASIO agents, as well as mental health experts, over the past few days, after the Nauru Government expressed concern about their welfare.

A researcher of the Nauru detainees, Susan Metcalfe, says the move by ASIO indicates that the two men's cases are being considered again.

She says it's unclear why ASIO has maintained a negative security assessment on the men since last year.

"o one on Nauru has a problem with the men for the past five years. No one who has lived in the camp with them has a problem with them. I've just recently spent two weeks with them on Nauru, day and night, and I can tell you I find it incomprehensible that those decisions were come to. And the mental health of one in particular has been a very serious concern."

Susan Metcalfe will travel to Nauru on Friday for her fourth visit to the detainees.