The hunger strike by asylum seekers on Nauru has entered its fourth day, with around 300, more than three-quarters of the asylum seekers, refusing food.

More asylum seekers joined the hunger strike yesterday (Saturday 3 November) afternoon, and a protest is planned for 6pm this afternoon (Sunday 4 November) to make clear to the Immigration Department that they are determined to continue the protest.

A statement received from the asylum seekers repeated their demands: “Our demands are these: 1) Close the Nauru detention centre; 2) Take us back to Australia; 3) Start processing our cases.”

Reports from the island say that many people are not feeling well and are spending most of their time resting. By mid-afternoon today (Nauru time) 10 people have been taken to the medical centre for treatment

A delegation of asylum seekers from each nationality in the camp met with a DIAC representative around 4.30pm Saturday afternoon (Nauru time) has left the hunger strikers more determined than ever to continue the protest.

“DIAC did not have answers for us,” one of the asylum seekers on Nauru told the Refugee Action Coalition. “They just said that it would be at least six months until our processing starts, and we will processed according to Nauruan law.

“After we our found to be refugees they said that Nauru will be responsible for re-settling. Australia would be one of 22 countries where we could be resettled.

“We asked about UNHCR, but we were told that there will be no UNHCR. We asked, ‘how will be resettled in there is no UNHCR?” but we were told that is Nauru’s problem.”

Meanwhile an Iranian asylum seekers has entered his 24 day of hunger strike.

“A very serious situation is unfolding on Nauru,” said Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition, “This is one of the largest hunger strikes ever to take place in an Australian detention centre. It is ludicrous for the Australian government to pretend that it is not pulling the detention strings on Nauru. There is no Nauruan government representative at the camp.

“There was never any justification for opening Nauru. The Minister says he opened Nauru because he wanted to save lives, but he has turned a blind eye to the asylum seekers lives he has condemned on Nauru.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul on 0417 275 713.

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