Weekly media wrap 1 June

Asylum seekers on bridging visas, who arrived to Australia by boat after August 2012, began receiving letters this week offering them to apply for temporary protection visas. The Australian government has lifted a freeze on processing the claims of 'unauthorised maritime arrivals' who arrived from mid-2012, and has begun the use of fast-track processing.

A Senate committee heard that the Australian government spent $2.4 billion over two years maintaining offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.

The family of a five-year-old Iranian girl is suing the Commonwealth of Australia and minister for immigration for negligence, which allegedly led to the child's severe psychiatric symptoms. The family is seeking financial damages and an injunction preventing their return to Nauru. This week the immigration department decided to transfer the family to community detention in Brisbane. Nauruan police are investigating the sexual assault of an Iranian asylum seeker last week.

Five detainees were removed from the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre or placed in solitary arrangements after confronting facility guards. Another group of 23 detainees, including some asylum seekers, have been transferred to Christmas Island from the Maribyrnong centre in Melbourne.

 Victorian Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kaye criticised immigration officials for blocking court ordered access for lawyers representing asylum seekers on Christmas Island. The lawyers were denied access to a group of asylum seekers who are suing the Australian government for neglecting to provide them appropriate medical care. 

The European Union sought a commitment from its member states to admit 40,000 asylum seekers from Syria and Eritrea landing in Italy and Greece

Read the Kaldor Centre's Weekly News Roundup