5 year old boy may return to Nauru where alleged rapist is

Now that Australia’s High Court has ruled that the offshore detention regime at Nauru and Manus Island is lawful a five year old boy who was allegedly raped on Nauru is facing the prospect of being returned to the detention centre where his attacker remains.

The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said he will carefully examine the implications of the High Court judgement backing his Government’s tough line on asylum seekers.

But he said his Government is resolute in protecting Australia’s border.

The Anglican Dean of Brisbane, Peter Catt, has declared the city’s cathedral a sanctuary for those who have suffered trauma and risk abuse if they are returned to Nauru.

“This fundamentally goes against our faith, so our church community is compelled to act, despite the possibility of individual penalty against us,” Catt said.

Paediatricians have detailed their concerns to the ABC about the child and the wellbeing and safety of about 160 other children held in Australia’s detention centres.

Paediatrician Karen Zwi, speaking despite the threat of jail, said the young child suffered serious mental health problems after the alleged sexual assault.

She said the child’s greatest fear was returning to Nauru.

A second paediatrician, Dr Hasantha Gunasekera told the ABC a report of a sexual assault among refugees held on Nauru is made every 13 days, most of the alleged victims being children.

Nauru police commissioner Corey Caleb rejected the reports, claiming “refugees regularly fabricate allegations of assault and sexual assault”.

In statement released on Tuesday, Commissioner Caleb lambasted “friendly Australian journalists who have a political agenda” for publicising the “lies”.

“They tell us they have been assaulted but their stories seldom add up,” he said.

He accused journalists of encouraging false reporting, adding that the refugees would be charged with making a false complaint had the allegation been made in Australia.

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News category: Asia Pacific.

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