Australian legal team in Nauru arguing for release of asylum seekers

June 10, 2013

Refugees walk about the detention centre on the island of Nauru

Refugees walk around the detention centre on the island of Nauru. (ABC TV)

An Australian legal team is in Nauru arguing for the immediate release of asylum seekers detained in an Australian-run centre in the island nation.

Melbourne barrister and human rights advocate, Julian Burnside QC, is leading the team.

Mr Burnside is filing a case in Nauruan courts on behalf of detained asylums seekers.

Experts say if he’s successful, all asylum seekers in the detention centre may need to be freed.

Sydney human rights lawyer, George Newhouse, is involved with the case and says some guards at detention centres have been told to prepare for the centres to be opened at short notice.

“What we’ve heard over the past 24 hours is that the detention centre is to be opened up,” he said.

A spokesman for the immigration department did not answer questions relating to a potential opening of the centre.

He said the Nauru government decides operational procedures at the centre.

There are claims the detention centre is illegal under Nauruan law.



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Filed under Courts and Legal Challenges, Human Rights and Refugee Activists, PNG/Pacific Solution

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