3 Sep 2007

Human Rights Commissioner must have access to Nauru camp - Australian Senator

7:26 pm on 3 September 2007

The Australian Democrats says the human rights commissioner must be allowed to inspect the Australian-run immigration detention centre on Nauru.

This comes after the immigration minister, Kevin Andrews, reportedly refused to allow the head of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Graeme Innes, to examine conditions at the Nauru facility where almost 90 asylum seekers are currently held.

Mr Innes had requested the visit because of the recent surge in the number of people detained on Nauru, after the arrival of Burmese and Sri Lankan asylum seekers by boat in the past year.

A Democrats senator, Andrew Bartlett, says some of the refugees have been in detention for a year and there are reports of hunger strikes starting up.

He also says it is wrong for Mr Andrews to claim the facility was outside Australia's jurisdiction.