Weekly media wrap - 17 August 2015

In Australia, a 21-year-old Afghan asylum seeker is expected to be deported to Afghanistan. His two younger brothers have been killed and father has gone missing in Afghanistan. The Afghan government has sought to curb the flow of forced returns from Australia and other countries, recently blocking the return of the asylum seeker.  

At the parliamentary inquiry examining abuse at the Nauru detention centre, a Wilson Security guard claimed that asylum seekers in the island’s detention centre were being subjected to torture techniques including water-boarding. Both Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton have rejected these claims, stating that they were unsubstantiated.

Legal proceedings began this week against the Commonwealth Government over the alleged negligence of a five-year-old Iranian asylum seeker at the Nauru detention centre. The young girl’s lawyer told the Northern Territory Supreme Court that she suffered significant mental injuries caused by a year spent in detention.

The family of a female Iranian asylum seeker, who was allegedly raped three months ago in Nauru, say the Federal Government has refused to allow her to be treated in Australia. A spokesperson for the Immigration Minister indicated that the woman concerned is receiving appropriate medical and mental health support and care in Nauru.

A whistleblower claimed Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young was filmed and photographed while on a visit to Nauru in 2013. Greens leader Richard DeNatale demanded Wilson Security be excluded from future contract tenders, and called for a federal policy investigation into the incident.

On Manus Island, Guardian Australia reported that refugees are being encouraged to resettle in Papua New Guinea, and are being told that if they do not cooperate they may be moved to Port Moresby and held in custody where conditions are worse.

In Europe, UNHCR expressed concern over the living conditions of an estimated 3000 refugees and migrants living in makeshift sites in Calais, on the northern coast of France. UNHCR highlighted the rising death toll among refugees and migrants attempting to cross the Channel into the United Kingdom.

Italy arrested five men accused of multiple murders and human trafficking following a shipwreck in early August, which left more than 200 people feared drowned. The vessel was believed to have had over 600 migrants onboard when it began the journey. 

Read the Kaldor Centre's Weekly News Roundup.