3 Feb 2016

Refugees on Nauru accused of lying about assaults

12:39 pm on 3 February 2016

Refugees on Nauru have been accused by authorities on the island of lying about being assaulted as part of a ploy to get to Australia.

Nauru is home to hundreds of refugees who were processed on Nauru after trying to seek asylum in Australia.

The Police Commissioner Corey Caleb said refugees regularly fabricate allegations of assault and sexual assault as they know these will be publicised.

He said the refugees tell the police they have been assaulted but their stories seldom add up.

Mr Caleb said there is usually no physical evidence, witnesses or details.

The police chief said such allegations would be dismissed in Australia and those making them would be charged with making a false complaint.

Mr Caleb also said police resources are increasingly being allocated to dealing with rising tensions between members of the refugee population.

He said the force receives up to five call-outs a day, which is more than from the entire Nauruan population.

The Justice Minister David Adeang said the false allegations were simply a ploy to get to Australia.

The barren and bankrupt island state of the Republic of Nauru awaits the arrival of refugees, 11 September 2001. Just 25 square kilometres, Nauru has been devastated by phosphate mining which once made the Micronesians the second wealthiest people per capita on earth. AFP PHOTO/Torsten BLACKWOOD

The Republic of Nauru Photo: AFP

Australia's High Court to rule this week on Nauru case

The comments in a written statement come on the eve of an Australian court's decision on the legality of Australia's offshore processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island in PNG.

Australia's High Court is to deliver its verdict today in a test case that will affect people affected by the offshore detention policy which has been roundly criticised by human rights groups and the UN.

The Human Rights Law Centre ran the case - heard by the full bench of the High Court in October, on behalf of a woman from Bangladesh who was detained on Nauru but brought to Australia for an abortion during the late stages of her pregnancy.

The centre's Director of Legal Advocacy, Daniel Webb, said the family is terrified of being sent back to Nauru.

The case is one of a series of challenges being run on behalf of more than 260 people who have been brought to Australia for urgent medical treatment after suffering harm in the centres.

Mr Webb said while the law is complex, the morality is simple and families should not be condemned to a life in limbo on the islands.

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