25 Apr 2013

Lawyers for asylum seekers on Nauru camp challenge detention

4:42 am on 25 April 2013

The Australian-based lawyer acting for the 10 asylum seekers facing rioting and wilful damage charges on Nauru has lodged an application of habeas corpus - challenging their detention at the Australian run camp on the island.

Trials for the 10 were due to start yesterday but have now been adjourned until June to allow the Supreme Court to deal with the application.

Lawyer Jay Williams also told the magistrate that he had been refused access to the centre by Australia's Department of Immigration, stopping him from interviewing his clients.

The Resident Magistrate Peter Law agreed that the access refusal appeared to contravene the asylum seekers constitutional rights and he would seek further information from the Supreme Court on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Nauru Government says the more than 400 asylum seekers have moved into permanent accommodation, with air conditioning and a renovated recreational room.