Dangerous mould levels at the Nauru detention centre continued to make news. A former worker at the centre revealed the then Department of Immigration paid $50,000 for a dangerous and ineffective industrial steam cleaner to tackle the problem, while leaked emails revealed then centre operator Transfield worried asylum seekers would riot over mould levels. The microbiologist contracted by Transfield in 2014 to assess the mould said the contamination was ‘of epic proportions’.
ASIO Director-General Duncan Lewis denied the agency slowed down visa processing for asylum seekers who came to Australia by boat before 2013 – as requested by the Department of Immigration in 2013 – but said the cohort was a lower priority. Mr Lewis said it was not unusual for ASIO to receive letters from the Secretary of the Department of Immigration.
Australia’s first session as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council was undermined by a report from the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, stating that deterrence-based refugee policies are fundamentally wrong. The report said deterrence policies – like Australia's offshore program – were the major reason migrants were exploited and abused.
A group of Coptic Christian asylum seekers in Melbourne appealed directly to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to avoid deportation to Egypt when their visas expire within weeks. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan asylum seeker deported from Australia last week due to the Australian Government’s scepticism of his claimed links to the Tamil Tigers has allegedly been harassed by Sri Lankan security forces since his return.
The National Gallery of Victoria ended its contract with Wilson Security, but did not state that it was due to the company's involvement in offshore detention. The gallery was consistently petitioned by national and international artists and activists to sever ties with the security company implicated in the Nauru Files.
In Israel, more than 20,000 people protested against a government policy of detaining and deporting African asylum seekers who refuse to leave the country. Seven Eritrean asylum seekers have already been transferred to an Israeli prison indefinitely after refusing to be deported to Rwanda.