2 Nov 2012

Australian Human Rights Commission concerned about Nauru situation

3:43 pm on 2 November 2012

The president of the Australian Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says she's deeply concerned about the condition of asylum seekers in Nauru and wants to go there personally.

400 asylum seekers are awaiting processing in Nauru after Australia re-established offshore processing to deter those trying to reach Australia.

Asylum seekers in the detention centre say they have begun an indefinite hunger strike and there have been reports of suicide attempts.

Gillian Triggs says because Nauru is a sovereign country, it's more difficult for the Commission to monitor what's going on there.

"While it's one thing for me to visit Christmas Island or any other place in Australia where there are detention centres I have to presumably have permission, a visa. At the moment I'm signally that I would very much like to be able to go to confirm whether or not the concerns that are being raised about conditions are true."

Gillian Triggs says they are especially worried for the mental health of the detainees who potentially face years of being in limbo.