News National Nauru inquiry a ‘witch hunt’

Nauru inquiry a ‘witch hunt’

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The federal government has accused a Senate committee investigating claims of abuse at the Nauru immigration detention centre of being a witch hunt.

The committee ran out of time on Tuesday to hear evidence from immigration department officials after quizzing senior managers from the centre’s operator and security firm, and representatives from Save The Children.

“Labor and the Greens combined to ensure only one point of view was presented,” Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said in a statement.

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Submissions to the inquiry described the horrifying and traumatic events experienced by many at the centre.

A statement from visiting Sydney pediatrician David Isaacs said women and children at the Nauru detention centre chose to wet the bed at night rather than risk being attacked on visits to the bathroom.

A female asylum seeker at the centre told Dr Isaacs last year of the harrowing night she was raped on the way to the bathroom.

The woman had wept uncontrollably for 10 minutes as she detailed the ordeal, but had chosen not to report it to police because of fears of repercussions.

Wilson Security told the hearing it was unaware of the incident and declined to speculate on why women were so terrified.

The only CCTV cameras cover the administration, recreation and medical centre areas, though some security guards wore GoPro cameras in emergency situations but the footage was routinely deleted, the hearing was told.

Wilson general manager John Rogers said he did not believe allegations male staff watched female asylum seekers and children in bathrooms, with some said to have urged women to expose themselves for extra shower time.

Male guards had to wait outside the family facility while female guards entered bathroom areas, he said.

However, a Wilson guard had been sacked “on the balance of probabilities” for inappropriately handling a detainee.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott insisted his government was doing everything it could to ensure basic human decency was applied at the Nauru centre.

– with AAP

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