5 Sep 2007

Nauru concerned about Australian-run detention centre

1:57 pm on 5 September 2007

The Nauru government says it expects to a appoint an international agency shortly to give it independent advice on the Australian-run detention camp on the island.

There are presently about 50 Sri Lankans asylum seekers on a hunger strike over the Australian govenrment's failure to tell them when their applications for refugee status will be processed.

And last week several Sri Lankans were charged over an alleged sex attack on a Nauruan woman.

That incident has resulted in the inmates being restricted to the camp day and night.

The Age newspaper reports the Nauru Foreign Minister, David Adeang, as saying his government wants improvements to the camp to allow the inmates' freedom of movement, while assuring the safety and security of the local population.

He says they also want to see that the processing is completed with minimal delay.

And Mr Adeang says they are in discussion with an independent third party - an international organisation with considerable experience in these matters - to provide the Nauru government with independent advice and views on facility.

He told the Age that a Memorandum of Understanding formalising an arrangement should be complete before the end of the year.