11 Apr 2014

UN statement refutes Nauru had no knowledge of visit

1:09 pm on 11 April 2014

The United Nations has released a statement discrediting claims by the Nauru government that it did not invite a team to the island to inspect the treatment of asylum seekers.

Earlier this week, a member of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said Nauru had revoked an invitation to the island, citing unforeseen circumstances.

The government then came out saying it did not invite the group and only read of its intentions in the media.

However a statement by the UN says the group wrote to Nauru requesting a visit, which the Government responded positively in a letter in February from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, suggesting April dates.

It says late last month the Government informed the group that it was not able to accommodate the visit due to unforeseen circumstances.

The group proposed new dates for May, but on Monday the government's reply was that it wasn't able to accommodate the request on those dates.