14 Sep 2016

Australian expert doubts Nauru abuse claims

1:07 pm on 14 September 2016

An Australian expert has cast doubt on the veracity of some testimony of asylum-seekers held by Canberra in Nauru.

Paris Aristotle, who is the chairman of the government's advisory council on asylum-seekers, has told The Australian that while testimony of abuse, including three rape allegations, was credible and convincing, he could not verify it.

People hold up placards at a protest outside an immigration office in Sydney on 4 February 2016.

Numerous protests have been held over Australia's offshore detention policy with human rights organisations calling for the camp to close. Photo: AFP

Mr Aristotle said there's some validity to some of the complaints or some of those reports but he is sure some have been embellished or misunderstood.

The comments come after last month's leak of incident reports which has drawn attention to the conditions at the camp and reignited calls for the camps to be closed.

Mr Aristotle has also called for more transparency and greater media access to Nauru.

Nauru charges a non-refundable visa application fee for journalists of $US6,000.

Last year, Nauru admitted a reporter from The Australian but his employer has declined to say whether he was charged the fee.

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