5 Aug 2010

Nauru says it had no role in running controversial detention camps

1:15 pm on 5 August 2010

Nauru's President Marcus Stephen has voiced frustration at what he calls media misconception over his country's role as an Australian detention centre for asylum seekers.

Canberra is considering re-igniting the Pacific Solution policy under which boat people reaching Australia were processed offshore on islands such as Nauru.

Nauru says it is open to discussing any requests from Australia about housing asylum seekers again.

But Mr Stephen resents Nauru being linked to any mistreatment of asylum seekers who stayed on the island, a topic that has become a contentious Australian election issue.

"We got ourselves involved with the asylum seekers, whether you want to call it debate, really because of the misconception, the centre was run by the UNHCR people and the Australian officials, Nauru had nothing to do with the running of the centre. We can not just continue allowing to comments that are not true."

Nauru's President Marcus Stephen.