25 Feb 2014

Failure to process refugee claims will spark more violence - Amnesty

7:13 am on 25 February 2014

Amnesty International in Australia says more violent incidents are inevitable at the Australian asylum seeker camps in Nauru and Papua New Guinea if the inmates are denied information about their claims for refugee status.

A rising tide of anger among asylum seekers on Nauru over the lack of progress on their refugee claims has been given in an Australian government report as a key cause of the destructive riot at the camp in July last year.

The report calls for managerial improvements, but has nothing to say about the failure to publicly declare any refugees 18 months after the camp opened.

Amnesty's Pacific researcher, Kate Scheutze, says the stress from this denial of critical information could be a trigger for more violence.

"Anyone who is a law abiding citizen placed under these circumstances and this level of stress and not being given any information about what is happening with their claims, it is distressing and it does lead people to do things they might not ordinarily do."

Amnesty's Pacific researcher, Kate Scheutze