Weekly media wrap - 19 October 2015

A pregnant Somali refugee, who was brought to Australia earlier in the week to have an abortion, has been returned to immigration detention on Nauru. The 23-year-old was allegedly raped on Nauru. Asylum seeker advocates stated that the woman was flown out of Australia because of an injunction being prepared to prevent her return to Nauru.

However, the Australian Government stated that the asylum seeker no longer wanted the termination. The minister for immigration said that pregnant asylum seekers on Nauru would not be permitted to come to Australia. Nauruan police closed a second case of the alleged rape of another Somali refugee. The Nauruan justice minister said police may consider charging the woman with making a false complaint.

Having executed a search warrant, Nauruan police seized a number of phones and laptops that belonged to Save the Children staff and other contractors, allegedly in an effort to crack down on whistleblowers at the Nauru detention facility.

In Australia, legislation was introduced to parliament that tightens requirements for people seeking complementary protection visas in Australia. The new legislation means that protection could be denied and people returned to home if they face a ‘generalised’ risk, can change their behaviour or can relocate to a safer part of their home country.

Two welfare and overseas aid groups, ACOSS and ACFID, called for an independent guardian for children in detention, with concern around the conflict of interest the minister for immigration holds as a guardian for children in detention. These concerns have come as a new parliamentary inquiry is being established into the treatment of asylum seekers in the Nauru and Manus Island offshore detention centres.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed that one of the four refugees transferred to Cambodia under the $55 million pact has now returned to Myanmar.

Read the Kaldor Centre’s weekly news roundup.