5 June: The first two asylum seekers convicted of rioting at the Nauru detention centre have been sentenced to jail.
In July 2013, asylum seekers torched the centre, causing $60m worth of damage. Newly built accommodation blocks, the health centre, offices, the dining room and vehicles were burnt. Only the kitchen and recreation facility remained standing.
Sixty-three asylum seekers face criminal charges stemming from the riots.
On Thursday the Nauru magistrate Ropate Cabealawa sentenced one asylum seeker to two years and five months in jail for unlawful assembly and rioting convictions. The second asylum seeker, convicted of rioting, will serve 11 months at the Nauru correctional centre. Continue reading “Nauru: first two asylum seekers found guilty of riot are sentenced to jail”
26 August: Nauru’s Director of Public Prosecutions has dropped its case against 10 asylum seekers charged with staging a riot at the centre in 2012, that caused more than $A25,000 damage.
The asylum seekers were charged with rioting after an incident at the Australian-run processing and detention centre on Nauru last September.
Two Australian-based lawyers, Simon Kenny and Sam Norton, had been providing representation free of charge for five of the defendants.
“It’s an excellent result for those defendants,” Mr Kenny told . “This means for many of them are able to go on with the process of applying for refugee status.”
Mr Kenny said he believed the case collapsed after witnesses were cross-examined. “We took the view…that the evidence that had been led from witnesses was not looking like it was going to support the case against our clients”, he said.
July 23: Nauru’s resident magistrate says the asylum seekers being held over a mass riot at the country’s detention centre have not yet been charged because their identity papers were destroyed by fire.
Most of the Australian-run centre was burnt to the ground on Friday night, at an estimated cost of $60 million.
Magistrate Peter Law says 152 asylum seekers have been been detained and will start facing court tomorrow. He says he has given police more time to prepare charges because it has been difficult to establish the identity of those involved. “I understand their identity papers were destroyed during the course of the fire,” he said.
The riot began on Friday as a peaceful protest over the slow processing of claims.
But a security guard who does not want to be named says protesters took over the centre, gained access to a kitchen, and armed themselves with knives and steel bars. Buildings were burned to the ground, including accommodation blocks, the health centre and the dining room. Continue reading “Nauru: no charges yet over riot because identity papers were destroyed”
20 February: On Monday, three people escaped from the detention centre on Nauru. They were were later found by police and returned to detention.
Refugee advocates say four detainees at the Nauru detention centre have resorted to stitching their lips together in protest. The Refugee Action Coalition says more than a dozen detainees have joined a hunger strike, with four asylum seekers stitching their lips together.
The escapees and those on hunger strike are from among the most recent group of arrivals on Nauru, from Iran.
Refugee Action Coalition spokesperson, Nick Reimer, says people are feeling increasingly desperate about their plight. Continue reading “Nauru: escape, hunger strike”
February 4: A group of Iranian asylum seekers charged with causing tens of thousands of dollars damage to an immigration detention facility in Nauru have had their bail extended.
Fourteen of 15 Iranian men charged over the riot last September made a brief appearance in a Nauru court on Monday. Their lawyer had to fly to Fiji earlier on Monday due to urgent family business, a statement from the government of Nauru said. Continue reading “Nauru: Asylum seekers face Nauru court over riot”