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Leaked Reports: Incidents Widespread in Australian Immigration Camp

  • VOA News

Leaked reports published Wednesday are detailing more than 2,000 allegations of sexual assault, child abuse and attempted self-harm at Australian detention centers on the nearby island of Nauru.

More than half of the incident reports published by the Guardian Australia newspaper involve alleged assaults against children, who make up about 18 percent of the detainees held on Nauru. The reports reveal numerous incidents of sexual assaults and harassment of children, and stories of detainees harming themselves.

One of the leaked reports involves a child who had written in her school book that she was tired of the camp and wanted to die.

According to the newspaper, the reports cover a period between mid-2013 and October 2015.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said authorities would examine the material "to see if there are any complaints there or issues there that were not properly addressed." His government also said the reports were allegations.

Hundreds of asylum seekers are being held on Nauru or a second detention center on Papua New Guinea, where they were sent after being intercepted at sea by Australian naval vessels. The refugees are barred from resettling in Australia, even if they are granted refugee status.

Human rights groups have long called on Canberra to end the detention program and resettle the detainees in Australia or elsewhere, citing previous reports regarding conditions at the refugee camps; but, the government says it has halted the asylum seekers' attempts to reach Australia over dangerous seas.

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