Weekly media round-up No. 35

Fairfax media reported that Papua New Guinean nationals employed as security guards entered the Manus Island detention centre the day before Reza Berati’s death in February, allegedly enraged by offensive chants from asylum seekers within the centre.

The UN said that Nauru is “breaching its international obligations” as it has failed to meet a February deadline set by the Committee Against Torture to establish an independent body to regularly inspect the detention centre. An unexploded wartime bomb was discovered at the centre, which detains children, pregnant women and families. Guardian Australia published a letter from Save the Children with allegations of “mistreatment and inappropriate behaviour” by guards employed by Wilson Security on Nauru.

At a UNHCR workshop on asylum seekers in Jakarta, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa called on the region to “share – not shift – responsibility” on asylum seekers, saying the issue “defies national solutions”.

UNHCR regional coordinator James Lynch said Australia’s policy of returning boats to Indonesia or ending boat arrivals to PNG or Nauru is against the Refugees Convention. Mr Lynch said Australia has not responded to questions about boat arrivals and questioned whether Australia was prepared to “honour [its] obligations”. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison dismissed suggestions Australia was breaching international law. He said the “policy is working” and the boats are stopping. Mr Morrison announced that no boats had reached Australia for over four months.

There is ongoing speculation on whether Australia will make a deal with Cambodia to resettle asylum seekers. In an interview with Fairfax, Mr Morrison said the government was encouraging countries that were willing to offer resettlement places to expand "permanent solutions" for people seeking asylum.

A federal circuit court judge reserved his decision on whether a case involving a group of asylum seekers who were named in the Immigration Department’s data-breach in February will continue to a full hearing. He said that the review process is still being developed and it is “premature for the asylum seekers to be seeking injunctions and declarations.”