29 Oct 2012

Nauru asylum seeker raises alarm about self harming in detention camp

8:09 pm on 29 October 2012

An asylum seeker on Nauru says there is a lot of stress among inmates at the Australian run detention camp on the island.

Nearly 400 asylum seekers have been flown to Nauru from Christmas Island in the past five and a half weeks where they are being kept in close packed tents until permanent accommodation is ready.

A Pakistani asylum seeker, who doesn't wish to be named for fear of losing his access to the phone, says there are up to 14 people in each tent.

He says because of the humidity the tents smell and this is making people sick.

The man says there is also significant self harming happening.

"So far self harming of asylum seekers is a common thing here and the crying and shouting of guys is also a common thing here, especially in the night time when they are sleeping. So because of stress and depression, they are crying."

The man says people are distressed about being on the island and want to return to Australia and for Canberra to start hearing their claims for refugee status.

The Nauru Government said last week that Australia had provided excellent medical facilities for the inmates