Two refugees are requesting help from Australia after reportedly being raped on Nauru, leaving one of them pregnant.
The ABC’s 7.30 has obtained a harrowing video of the moment one of the victims was found by Nauruan police, several hours after the alleged assault occurred.
The footage was filmed in the dark by the 26-year-old Somali woman as she hid in the bushes late at night on August 21 after allegedly being raped by two Nauruan men.
In the video, the woman is heard weeping and calling for help as she phones Nauruan police.
“Please come help me,” she pleads as sirens are heard in the background.
The woman, known as Najma (not her real name) has told the ABC she feels unsafe on Nauru.
“As a Somali girl, I was hoping to come to a safe place, but I have no safety,” she said.
“As we walk to work, Nauruan men charge us five dollars to use the road, then they follow us and harass us or touch us.”
The women both live in the Nauruan community.
The attack is the latest in a string of sexual assaults on Nauru, both inside the immigration detention centre, and outside in the refugee community.
A recent Senate inquiry uncovered the number of assaults perpetrated on asylum seekers on the island.
The company responsible for running the detention centre, Transfield Services, told senators it received 67 allegations of child abuse up until May this year, 30 of them involving detention centre staff.
Daniel Webb, the director of legal advocacy at Melbourne’s Human Rights Law Centre, said Australia should not be settling refugees in the Nauruan community.
“It’s becoming clear that Nauru, both inside the detention centre and outside of it, is not a safe place for women and not a safe place for children,” he said.
Nauru justice system ‘can’t protect’ victims
Mr Webb said assault victims in Nauru had little hope of justice.
“The reality is that the Nauruan justice system and rule of law is in complete disarray,” he said.
“Not only is Nauru an unsafe place for vulnerable women and children that Australia sends there, the Nauruan justice system can’t protect them.”
The ABC sent several questions to the Nauruan police, requesting details on the number of assault cases, and the number of arrests made.
A reply was received from the Nauruan government’s Australian public relations agent, Lyall Mercer.
“Due to continued unbalanced and inaccurate coverage of Nauru by the ABC we will not respond to this request,” the email stated.
“We can only assume that the ABC does not wish to report the facts and that political activism has replaced ethical journalism, therefore we will not be cooperating on this occasion.”
In a statement to the ABC, the Immigration Department said it worked with the government of Nauru to provide a safe environment for asylum seekers and refugees.
It said in the event of sexual assault allegations, asylum seekers and refugees were provided with medical treatment and mental health support.
The Department said it was aware of a sexual assault allegation involving the Somali woman. But it would not say if the two recent victims would be brought to Australia.