Weekly media wrap - 9 March

Media reported that ten wooden boats were bought by the Customs and Border Protection Department to tow back asylum seeker boats in Australian waters. The boats, which look like fishing boats typically used in South Asia, are believed to be a cheaper alternative to the orange lifeboat vessels that the Australian government has been using.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has requested the Australian Federal Police investigate Save the Children whistleblowers who provided anonymous submissions to the Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into children in detention, which referenced child sexual abuse, violence and self-harm on Nauru. A Greens-led motion was passed in the Senate expressing support for Professor Gillian Triggs and the Human Rights Commission and its delivery of the Forgotten Children report.

Almost 200 refugees were arrested on Nauru for protesting against their resettlement on the island and demanding better living conditions. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton stated that refugees' protests would have no influence on the Abbott government's policies. Naurus Justice Minister, David Adeang, described the protests as a law and order issue that would be dealt with according to Naurus laws.

A student staged a protest on a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Darwin over the transfer of a Tamil asylum seeker on board, fearing deportation would occur once the plane arrived in Darwin. The student has been temporarily banned from the airline and asked to attend an interview with the Australian Federal Police.  

In a speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama criticised Australia's policy approach of resettling asylum seekers in the Pacific and sought greater scrutiny of the implementation of policy and practice.