Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

 By Azadeh Dastyari

On 10 August, The Guardian newspaper published the Nauru files,  approximately 2000 leaked incident reports from the Australian funded and operated detention centre on Nauru where men, women and children seeking Australia’s protection from harm are selected by our government and sent indefinitely. The more than 8000 pages of accounts paint a picture of unbearable cruelty and deprivation that includes physical and sexual abuse, including sexual and physical abuse of children.

When confronted with the leaked reports, the Australian government’s response was predictably dismissive. The Prime Minister stated that reports were allegations and not findings and that the detainees are the responsibility of the Nauruan government.  The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton reiterated that this was an issue for Nauru and questioned the seriousness of the complaints and their validity.

These allegations are not new of course. An independent inquiry commissioned…

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