24 July 2013

Background to the riots on Nauru

In light of the recent events that have taken place in Nauru, on 23 July a collection of former and current Salvation Army staff who have spent the last ten months working with asylum seekers at the Regional Processing Centres in Nauru and Manus Island issued a public statement.

The bottom line message of this heartbreaking document is:

The most recent incident in Nauru was not borne out of malice. It was a build up of pressure and anxiety over ten months of degrading treatment, and a planned peaceful protest that degenerated. It was a reaction to a refugee processing system that is devoid of logic and fairness

To get the full measure of what is being done to the asylum seekers who were rushed to Nauru with such indecent haste by the Gillard Government it is necessary to read the statement in full. It is clear that the Government did not concern itself at all with the welfare of these people to whom we owe a duty of care – whether or not any individual’s claims for refugee status are successful. People who are detained by us or under our control are in our care, and we have duties for their safety and welfare.

To read the full statement see Nauru Riot Press Release.