Nov 23, 2012

No photos, please: Nauru ‘unlike anything ever seen in Australia’

Amnesty International inspectors became the first independent assessors to visit the Nauru immigration camp this week, describing the conditions in vivid details for Crikey.

Amber Jamieson — Freelance journalist in New York

Amber Jamieson

Freelance journalist in New York

Nauru might be an enormous topic politically, but in reality the entire camp on the remote island is just 100 metres by 150 metres.

That’s where 387 asylum seekers — all men — currently spend nearly 24 hours a day. Most of the area is taken up by rows of green army tents packed with stretcher beds. The smaller tents fit five or six beds, while the larger tents have 16 or 17 beds crammed in. There’s barely any room to walk between the stretchers inside the tents and detainees have zero privacy.

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48 thoughts on “No photos, please: Nauru ‘unlike anything ever seen in Australia’

  1. Iain Hall

    Its not meant to be a holiday camp Amber

  2. zut alors

    Don’t you just love it when politicians do their annual ‘sleep out’ in the elements for one night every winter, allegedly experiencing what conditions are like for the homeless? Such an ideal opportunity for publicity shots for the self-satisfied to circulate in their electorates.

    But I’d prefer to see them spend a couple days on Nauru in those steamy tents with the only exercise being their thumbs to twiddle. A taste of reality can’t hurt.

  3. GeeWizz

    And here I was expecting Amnesty to say how great Nauru facilities are /sarcasm

    I think the real crime here is that months after Nauru is reopened this incompetent Labor Government have only sent 387 illegals there…. thats less people than were on the Tampa(450) who Howard sent directly to Nauru… do not pass Christmas Island, do not collect your $200 Dole chequre.

    Once the Coalition shuts down the Labor People Smuggling business like they did in 2001, they’ll be able to close all these detention centres again. How many people in detention when Rudd took over, 4 people total wasn’t it?

  4. Jorani Long

    My parents escaped the Khmer Rouge to Indonesia and lived in a refugee camp with many other Cambodians and Vietnamese. The condition was horribly poor by Australian standard but they did have a little economy, entertainments and education. Even if the government sends all of the asylum seekers to Nauru, they will still keep coming as there is more of a certain chance to be settled in Australia than waiting overseas with uncertain future.

    It looks like the government is not doing anything to provide better conditions for refugees waiting overseas, and nothing to to give them hope and certainty that they will be resettled faster if they stay and wait which will be better than risking their lives coming to Australia on rickety boats. The hope and benefits at the end far outweigh waiting in transit countries, the light at the end of the tunnel for boat people is more seductive than moths to the flame.

    This site changed a lot since my last visit.

  5. floorer

    ^ Actual experience beats opinion anyday eh GeeWizz? ^

  6. shepherdmarilyn

    Iain it is a deliberately contrived torture chamber that will cost taxpayers over $1.6 billion to achieve precisely nothing except broken lives.

    What sort of callous coward are you.

  7. shepherdmarilyn

    There is no people smuggling business, people smuggling is the forced movement of human beings across borders for exploitation and against their wills.

    REfugees most definitely want to move so it is not possible to smuggle them anywhere.

  8. floorer

    From the dictionary on my Mac : “Smuggling is the clandestine transportation of goods or persons, such as out of a building, into a prison, or across an international border, in violation of applicable laws or other regulations.” Smuggling does not mean forced.

  9. shepherdmarilyn

    Human smuggling does, to be human smuggling it requires coercion and ongoing exploitation.

    And there is nothing covert about it, as our own courts have said for over a decade now.

    As it is a legal right to come here by sea where is the smuggling?

  10. Matt Steadman

    Does anyone know the name of the Facebook page referred to in the article? I can’t seem to find it after a couple of basic searches

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