Teenagers injured by guards in Nauru protest

Around 7.30pm Wednesday night, eight teenagers and their families were summoned to receive a letter from Australian Border Force in reply to their protest letter sent two days ago. (See image at bottom.)

As the dismissive quality of the ABF letter became obvious – including absurd statements about the quality of medical conditions and education on Nauru, or going to Cambodia – an angry protest developed.

(The Nauru school is dilapidated and conditions are rudimentary at best – see photo at bottom – others available on request.)

Australian Wilson guards lashed out at the teenagers, inflicting minor injuries (see photos). Others in the family compound, including women, were pushed over by the guards.

Nauru teenagers1“Guards hit us and kicked us”, one of the teenagers told the Refugee Action Coalition.

One woman who was pushed over in the fracas has suffered a heart attack and was taken to the IHMS clinic. Another woman who swallowed washing powder in the aftermath of the protest is also in the IHMS clinic.

The guards eventually retreated from the compound.

The protests continued late into the night, with cries of, “We are not animals,” “You don’t answer.”

The head Wilson guard refused to respond to the complaints about the assaults and injuries inflicted on the asylum seekers. The guard told the protesters that the complaints about the assaults would be taken “to the big boss tonight” and there would be a response, today Thursday, 7 April.

The escalation in the protests comes after 18 days of daily protests at the family compound. A sign of the deteriorating situation on Nauru was the graffiti, ABF=卐, which appeared a wall inside the family compound on Sunday night.

“Until the government addresses the fundamental problem with Nauru, the protests will continue,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The asylum seekers were selectively discriminated against when they were sent there. Some have waited ‘in hell’ for three years without having a refugee determination.

“The Minister has boasted that getting children out of detention was always a goal of the Turnbull government, but that claim is at odds with the fact that children, women and men are being held on Nauru – and that the 267 who are presently in Australia are still being threatened to be returned to the prison island.”

Nauru teenagers2Video clip available on request.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713.


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