23 May 2007

Fifty Sri Lankans on Nauru interviewed by Australian immigration

9:21 am on 23 May 2007

The Australian refugee and immigration legal centre says about thirty of the 82 Sri Lankan asylum seekers held on Nauru are still waiting for legal assistance.

The asylum seekers were intercepted by the Australian navy in international waters in February and were sent to Nauru for processing.

Nauru's government has told Australia that they should leave the island within six months after previous asylum seekers spent years in the country's detention centres.

More than 50 Sri Lankans have reportedly already been interviewed by immigration officials without having received prior legal assistance.

Their claims are still being processed.

David Manne from the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre says the remaining 30 asylum seekers are waiting for legal help before having their interview.

There are also seven Burmese asylum seekers on Nauru that are also being processed.