Weekly media wrap - 1 February 2016

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) 2016 World Report was released this week. HRW reported that Australia’s failure to meet international standards for protecting asylum seekers is taking a ‘heavy human toll’ and damaging this country’s international reputation. The report also highlighted the secrecy around Australia’s immigration detention program.

Professor David Isaacs, a leading paediatrician, challenged Australia’s prime minister to prosecute him for speaking out under the Border Force Act about conditions in offshore detention centres. Professor Isaacs visited Nauru in December 2014.

The International Organization for Migration reported that more than 52,000 refugees and migrants crossed the eastern Mediterranean to reach Europe in January, more than 35 times the number of people who attempted the crossing in the same period in 2015.

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei closed his exhibition in Copenhagen in protest to new Danish laws allowing authorities to seize assets and valuables from asylum seekers over a certain value and delays in family reunification. Meanwhile, Sweden has indicated an intention to expel up to 80,000 rejected asylum seekers who arrived in 2015.