Protests Continue on Nauru and Manus Island

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The hunger strikes and protests continue on both Nauru and Manus Island, and Omid has been returned to the detention centre on Nauru after ten days hospitalised in Australia.

It was confirmed on Monday, 10th December, that Omid - on hunger strike for over 50 days before being evacuated - has been returned to Nauru. It was also confirmed that so far a total of four of the hunger strikers have been flown to Australia for urgent medical treatment.

Other news coverage focus on the men charged with 'riotous offences' (now numbering more than sixteen) who appeared in court once more. This time they have been remanded until January 14th.

The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney described Omid's return as a cold and calculated move on the part of the Australian Minister of Immigration.
"The Minister has a callous disregard for Omid’s welfare. ... Nothing has changed on Nauru."

News updates from the people detained on Nauru continue to speak about the protests, hunger strikes and self-harming incidents that are happening on the island. Between 25 and 30 people are still on hunger strike - their demands are that the asylum seekers on Nauru be taken back to Australia, and for their refugee processing to begin immediately.

Meanwhile the Salvation Army is restricting and limiting internet access, making it harder for the people in the camp to stay in contact and report on what is happening. Computer access is now limited to 30 minutes every second day and people are not be allowed to swap times. The Salvation Army is also monitoring internet use, reporting on what individuals are doing on the web.

In response an on-line petition has been started and more than half of the camp residents have signed a letter to the Salvation Army asking that Mahdi (Ir,Sr,Irq,Afgh in nauru 2012 Facebook page manager) has access to the internet.

The asylum seekers on Manus Island are also protesting. There are now supposedly 67 people (between 13 to 16 of whom are children) detained in the temporary tent facility on Manus.

On December 1st a young woman detained on Manus wrote the following letter to Chris Bowen, Minister of Immigration,:

Dear Mr Bowen,

I am writing as an 18 year old. I have been on Christmas Island for 41 days then they transferred me to Manus Island. Before I came to Australia I had a different view about the Australian government. I was under the impression that Australia is a developed country and observed human rights. Unfortunately they don't seem to care about us and it seems like they are just pretending.

The Australian government would like to appear to the world that they observe human rights but they don't. As a human being I have the right to know about my future and make decisions about it. I have the right to not let people treat me in a bad way. I have the right to have the same life as other 18 year old girls. I have the right to choose. I have the right to not let people put videos of me on the Internet or on tv. I just turned 18. I have lots of hopes and visions but now they are all ruined by you. People like you destroyed my future because of your political position. You sacrificed me just to show the whole world that you observe the human rights. If you don't want people to come by boat, why would you sacrifice me? You can close the sea boarder, but you don't care about me. It's about 3 days that I haven't eaten anything. I am doing this because maybe you care. I want a clear future. I didnt find any justice in your country. Everything is fake.
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From,
[Name removed]

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