Allegations have emerged that Australian immigration and border protection officials paid people smugglers to turn back boats from Indonesia carrying asylum seekers. The immigration minister, Peter Dutton, and the foreign minister, Julie Bishop, denied the allegations, however Prime Minister Tony Abbott has refused to deny them.
A senate inquiry into conditions in immigration detention on Nauru heard from former International Health and Medical Services mental health director, Peter Young, that the immigration department regularly interfered with medical assessments of asylum seekers. The inquiry also received written submissions from former Save the Children employee, Viktoria Vibhakar, detailing cases of sexual and physical abuse of asylum seekers’ children as young as two.
Meanwhile, the immigration department has confirmed Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young was spied on during her visit to Nauru by at least one Wilson Security officer.
In international news, the UNHCR has reported that the number of refugee and migrant arrivals to Europe across the Mediterranean in 2015 has reached more than 100,000.