September 21, 2012
Security risks: six Iraqis have joined Sri Lankan asylum seekers in Nauru . Picture: Brad Hunter
THE first Iraqi asylum seekers have landed on Nauru – including four understood to be deemed “high risk”.
A total of six Iraqis were among the group of 30 men flown in from Christmas Island, adding to more than 60 asylum seekers already housed in Nauru’s Topside camp.
The rest are Sri Lankan Tamils.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship would not confirm whether any of the group were considered high risk but local authorities have been told that is the case.
The group alighted the charter flight one at a time, loaded into two buses and headed straight for the tent city camp that will be their home for the forseeable future.
Several of the Iraqis smiled and waved as they drove from the airport.
DIAC spokesman Phil Allen said the transfer had gone smoothly.
“We had no issues at any point during the transfer, all the way from the notification stage on Christmas Island to landing here,” he said.
“We do have operational [terms] but we don’t discuss it [whether an asylum seeker is categorised as high risk].”
Mr Allen said the Topside camp was already well equipped to deal with the new arrivals.
“It can deal with many more than this. There is more or less capacity for the full 500 now.”
All 30 of the men will have to go through an induction before entering the camp.
“So OH&S will have a chat to them to confirm there are no health issues but we are not aware of any and they will be given breakfast and a talk about where they are and that sort of thing,” Mr Allen said.