Weekly media wrap - 24 August 2015

Inquiries into the Nauru detention centre dominated the week. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton continued to dismiss as “nonsense” allegations by an Australian whistleblower and ex-guard that a detainee at the Nauru detention centre was waterboarded, stating that he was ‘aware that there is legal action between Wilson and... a disgruntled employee and all these matters need to be put into context’.  

At a Senate committee hearing into allegations of abuse on Nauru, the whistleblower conceded that he had never seen the torture taking place. UNHCR regional representative Thomas Albrecht said that it was difficult to verify the claims because of the secrecy surrounding the centre's operations.

The Wilson Security guard who ordered up to eight guards at the Nauru detention center to spy on Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young while she was visiting the island has been called to appear before the Senate inquiry.

An asylum seeker allegedly raped at the Nauru detention centre was sent to Australia for treatment, three months after the alleged incident. Separately, an investigation undertaken by The Saturday Paper revealed a number of unreported incidents on Nauru, including the alleged rape and assault of refugees who have been resettled on the island.

On Manus Island, an asylum seeker on was forcibly returned to Iran notwithstanding an ongoing case challenging his detention in the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court.

A New Zealand parliamentary committee called for an increase to the country's refugee intake. New Zealand's current quota is 750 refugees per year, accepted through the UNHCR resettlement program.

Meanwhile, the UNHCR reported that the number of refugees and migrants who arrived in Greece last month was greater than the number for the whole of 2014. The influx has led to a stalemate at the Greek-Macedonian border, where over 2000 refugees are stranded after being stopped by police.

Read the Kaldor Centre's Weekly News Roundup.