WELLINGTON: The Pacific nation of Nauru is trying to impose a media blackout on alleged human rights abuses in Australian-run migrant centers on the island nation, campaign group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said Friday.
The group alleged that the Nauru government had told Qatari-based broadcaster Al Jazeera that all international media requests to visit the island were being refused.
“The island’s authorities have not only turned a blind eye to allegations of rape and other abuses in the detention center… they have also decided to block all media coverage of the alleged abuses,” it said.
RSF also accused Canberra of failing to ensure there was proper scrutiny of the 600-plus asylum seekers in the Nauru detention center that it bankrolls.
“It is unacceptable that Australia, after moving asylum processing offshore at great expense, should also delegate censorship and discriminatory decisions against the media,” it said.
Australia is currently lobbying for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.
Asylum seekers attempting to enter Australia by boat are turned back or sent to detention camps on Nauru or Papua New Guinea under Canberra’s tough immigration policy.