Nauru – open camp, society closed

Blood and lies mingle
Open camp, society closed
Tributaries of silence
Devil deep blue sea

Still no sanctuary given
Nauru, sovereignty slain
by Germany Britain Japan
American and Australian
                       - Ian Curr

Time is running out for a pregnant Somali asylum seeker requesting an abortion after she was raped on Nauru in July. says the ABC Radio National report on 8 Oct 2015

Pamela Curr is a refugee advocate from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and was interviewed on the ABC’s RN Breakfast.

Abortion is illegal on Nauru and the woman, now 14 weeks pregnant, has told advocates she’s desperate to undergo the procedure.

Detention centre on Nauru AAP Image: Department of Immigration

A campaign urging the Australian Government to step in and help the woman has so far gone unheeded, with the case now in the hands of Australian lawyers.

[Taken from report on ABC Radio National 8:31 am 8 Oct 2015]

Australian Detention Centre on Nauru guarded by Transfield Services (subcontracted to Wilson Security)

Nauru detention centre
Australia–Nauru relations

3 thoughts on “Nauru – open camp, society closed

  1. Urgent assistance needed for pregnant Somali refugee says:

    “Somail refugee “Abyan”, who became pregnant after rape on Nauru, has been refused access to a termination by Immigration. Her mental and physical health is at risk. Call Turnbull’s office on (02) 6277 7700 or Dutton on (02) 6277 7860 to demand she be brought to Australia for treatment. You can also email them at and

  2. Refugee Action Collective says:

    The Refugee Action Coalition has called for urgent assistance to be provided to a Somali refugee, “Abyan” on Nauru who became pregnant after allegedly being raped in August.

    Despite repeated requests, the Immigration Department has refused the woman’s request to arrange the termination of the pregnancy.

    Although IHMS has overall responsibility for medical services for asylum seekers, they do not have that responsibility for those who are found to be refugees. Decisions regarding refugees, and whether they will be provided with care in Australia, are made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

    “We are extremely worried about Abyan’s health,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “She is very sick and distressed and has been shamefully neglected by the Immigration Department, Nauru medical services and by Connect, the service providers on the island.”

    Abyan has not seen a doctor for four weeks, and has not left her accommodation. She has been so sick, that she has been subsisting on a diet of milk and water. She has lost 10 kilograms in the past month and now weighs only 66 kilos.

    “Abyan’s case is urgent. Her mental and physical health has been put at risk by the negligence of the Nauru service providers and by the Australian Immigration department.

    “Immigration and Border Protection officers have no business acting as the moral police on Nauru or interfering with the rights and proper medical care of this Somali refugee.

    “Malcolm Turnbull says he wants Australia to be known for its respect of women. But his government is showing no respect for the women under Australia’s care on Nauru.”


    Statement from Professor Caroline de Costa:

    I have been informed that a woman asylum seeker at present living on Nauru is currently ten weeks pregnant as the result of an alleged rape. I am further informed that this woman has requested termination of her pregnancy through medical services and Border Force personnel on Nauru but that no arrangements have yet been made to comply with her request. I have had no direct contact with the woman herself or with any medical practitioner caring for her.

    However as a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist registered in Queensland and an academic with a longterm interest in abortion law, I can state unequivocally that if this woman’s story is correct she would be lawfully entitled to termination of pregnancy in any jurisdiction in Australia except South Australia, the latter exception only because she has not resided in that state for the past two months. Furthermore safe surgical abortion is currently available to all women resident in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, all states accessible for transport for her from Nauru.

    The earlier in pregnancy abortion is performed the safer it is. This woman who is under the care of the government of Australia should be transferred without delay to Australia, to a service where she can have appropriate consultation, examination and care from experienced and sympathetic professionals, an informed decision made by her, and termination of pregnancy performed if that is in fact her decision. She should also receive care appropriate for women following sexual assault. This is the standard of care we believe essential for women resident in Australia; it should also be provided for women supposedly under the protection of Australia.

    Professor Caroline de Costa AM MBBS MPH PhD FRANZCOG FRCOG FRCS (Glas)
    James Cook University School of Medicine

    For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

  3. National Day of Action says:


    Speakers include:

    *Mark Isaacs, Nauru whistler-blower and author of
    ‘Undesirables: Inside Nauru’

    *Rima Flihan, Syrian human rights activist

    *Jessica Walker and Milad Jafari, Free Mojgan campaign

    *Phil Monsour, musician and activist

    * Dr Richard Kidd, Doctors for Refugees

    The growing evidence of rape and torture of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus Island has reinforced the horror of offshore processing. There has been widespread defiance of the government’s attempt to silence detention whistleblowers through the Border Force Act. Doctors, teachers and allied health workers have all staged protests and declared their intent to defy the law. Join us to raise our voices against the Abbott government’s anti-refugee policies and demand change.


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