Weekly media round-up No. 34

Twenty-six families with children born in detention received written assurance from the Immigration Department that neither they nor their children would be sent to offshore detention centres on either Nauru or Manus Island until a case on their legal status is resolved.

The Royal Australian Navy announced that one commanding officer will be removed from command and another administratively sanctioned due to a series of incursions into Indonesian waters in December and January. The announcement came on the same day that Guardian Australia revealed one of the Australian customs vessels went further into Indonesian waters than had previously been disclosed, within 27 kilometres of the Indonesian shore.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ representative in Indonesia, Manuel Jordao, said the number of asylum seekers registering in Indonesia has fallen from around 100 a day to 100 a week since December. Mr Jordao said it was too soon to say whether the decrease was due to the Australian Government’s policy Operation Sovereign Borders, under which no one arriving in Australia by boat is eligible for resettlement in Australia.

Indonesia’s top military commander said Australia had agreed to stop turning back boats to Indonesia, but Immigration Minister Scott Morrison contradicted this, saying that the government’s policy had not changed. Military Commander General Moeldoko made the comments after speaking with Australia’s defence chief, David Hurley. However, Mr Morrison told Fairfax Media that details of the conversation had been “misreported”. Indonesia and Australia are expected to discuss the issue further at the Bali Process this week.