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Wednesday 19th Octoberr 2016

Nuku’alofa Times - Page 09


Australia’s detention camp Nauru conditions ‘amount to torture’

Contributing to their feelings of despair at the camp were inadequate medical care, exposure of children to abuse, and attacks and threats by some Nauruans outside the centre.

China-Pacific Islands Forum Cooperative Fund receives USD$1.05 Million Donation from the Chinese Government

PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARIAT: The strong relationship between China and the Pacific Islands Forum was highlighted today as Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Mr. ZHANG Ping signed over USD $1.05 million to Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum. During the ceremony Ambassador ZHANG Ping reiterated the importance of the relationship saying “This donation from the Chinese Government to the China-PIF Cooperative Fund for the year 2016 is another demonstration of China’s sincerity and willingness in seeking common development prosperity with Pacific Islands Countries.” Secretary General Tay-

lor added, “During the past year we’ve had a number of high level visits from China and that, I think, sends a very strong signal to the region that China is very interested in our development and what we are trying to do. On behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum I wish to express a deep appreciation for the ongoing support from China as a partner to the region, both as a PostForum Dialogue Partner as well as a bilateral partner to many Forum countries. This contribution will be used to help improve the lives of Pacific islanders.” The China-PIF Cooperative Fund was established in 2000 to support trade, investment, tourism and personal exchange between China and Forum countries. The first initiative to appear

through the Fund was the establishment of the Beijing Office of Pacific Trade and Invest. The Beijing Office works closely with Forum country Embassies in China to build and strengthen business networks between the Pacific and Chinese markets. In recent years the Fund has also enabled the China-PIFS Regional Scholarship Scheme which has seen 65 students study a wide range of subjects including engineering, international law, medicine, information & communications technology, agriculture, and commerce in Chinese institutions. Earlier this year China announced their intention to increase the number of annual scholarships on offer from 10 to 20.

NAURU (DailyMail): Horrific stories from asylum seekers detailing the inhumane suffering at Nauru detention centre has led Amnesty International to claim the conditions are ‘torture’. The Federal Government has kept Nauru Detention Centre - located off a remote Pacific island - guarded in years past with little access allowed to media. But an Amnesty International researcher has interviewed more than 100 asylum-seekers, refugees and current and former staff revealing the epidemic of self-harm and despair inflicted after living in camp. An Iraqi man, known as Edris, said the conditions in Australia’s detention centre were so deplorable they were worse than the war that caused him to flee Iraq. ‘I cannot go back. But here I am dying a thousand times,’ Edris said. ‘In Iraq, you get just one bullet or a bomb, and it’s over, and here I am slowly dying from the pain.’ Ali Kharsa, a 19-year-old

boy who had been in Nauru for three years, said nothing he had experienced compared to the horrors of the camp. ‘We fled Syria, but Nauru was the hardest thing I ever had,’ he said. The human rights agency allege widespread abuse and an ‘epidemic of selfharm’ had been revealed at Nauru. Amnesty International said Australia’s detention of Asylum-seekers ‘amounts to torture’ under international law, according to their report. The Federal Government sends asylum seekers who try to reach Australia by

boat to detention centres on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus. The Nauru facility - which holds just over 400 men, women and children - has been slammed for thousand of alleged incidents of abuse leaked to the Guardian Australia in August. The researcher behind the report, senior director for research Anna Neistat, said interviews she conducted with more than 100 people - including asylum seekers, refugees, and detention staff - ‘paint a picture of people driven to absolute despair’. The report said there was an ‘epidemic of self-harm’ the detainees held on Nauru. It also revealed nearly all the asylum-seekers interviewed had reported mental health issues that had developed after arriving at the camp. Contributing to their feelings of despair were inadequate medical care, exposure of children to abuse, and attacks and threats by some Nauruans outside the centre, it said.


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