By Colin Packham and Jane Wardell SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia on Tuesday rejected claims by rights group Amnesty International that conditions on a tiny Pacific Island where some 400 asylum seekers are being held "amount to torture." In a detailed report titled Island of Despair, Amnesty alleged that many of the asylum seekers on Nauru are being driven to attempt suicide to escape the prison-like conditions they face in indefinite detention. Under Australia's tough immigration policy, asylum seekers intercepted trying to reach the country by boat are sent for processing at a camp in Nauru or to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and are not eligible for resettlement in Australia. "I reject that claim totally. It is absolutely false," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio of the torture claim. "The Australian government's commitment is compassionate and strong." Amnesty, which said its findings were based on both desk research and field work in Nauru between July and October, said the detention was a "systematic regime of neglect and cruelty." "The conditions on Nauru — refugees' severe mental anguish, the intentional nature of the system, and the fact that the goal of offshore processing is to intimidate or coerce people to achieve a specific outcome — amounts to torture," the report said. Almost 60 people, or about 15 percent of the 410 men, women and children on the island, reported they had either attempted suicide or had thoughts about harming themselves, Amnesty said. Aid agencies say those held on Nauru are mainly from Iran and Afghanistan. Despite receiving refugee status, they continue to be confined to poor accommodation with little access to medical care, Amnesty said, adding that children, who make up little more than a tenth of the number of detainees, suffer disproportionately. "I met children as young as nine who had already tried to kill themselves and were talking openly about ending their lives," said Anna Keistat, an Amnesty official. Amnesty joins a chorus of criticism by human rights groups of Australia's immigration policy, and comes just weeks after the United Nations said Nauru was failing to protect children. A Guardian report said that more than 2,000 incidents, including sexual abuse, assault and attempted self-harm, were reported in about two years, more than half involving children. Turnbull's government has been trying to organize resettlement of the asylum seekers in other countries, but has so far only struck a deal with Cambodia that has proved unpopular with refugees. Asked if he was in negotiations with the United States to take some of the detainees, Turnbull declined to comment but stressed that they would not be allowed to enter Australia. "If you seek to come to Australia with a people smuggler or you've sought to come to Australia with a people smuggler, you will not settle in Australia," he said. Australia is also facing pressure over a second detention center in Papua New Guinea after that country's Supreme Court in April ordered its closure. The 823 men held on Manus Island have been given limited freedom, but they remain detained. (Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Sandra Maler)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
The mogul's latest swimsuit shots have her fans doing some deep-dive detective work
- USA TODAY Sports
Dak Prescott should be ashamed of himself – and not because of squandering the final seconds off the clock in Cowboys' wild-card playoff loss.
- Yahoo Life
The supermodel, who turns 68 on Feb. 2, appears to be vacationing in the Caribbean.
- Business Insider
A former Buckingham Palace royal protection officer says he suspected Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew had an 'intimate relationship,' according to a new documentary
On Thursday, a judge refuses to dismiss a sexual-assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew brought by Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.
- USA TODAY Sports
A hot mic caught Peyton Manning letting fly a profanity Monday night during the ManningCast of the Cardinals-Rams wild-card playoff game.
- Business Insider
A megachurch pastor in Oklahoma apologized for a demonstration during his sermon 'being too extreme and disgusting' when he rubbed spit on a churchgoer's face
Michael Todd, a pastor based in Tulsa, tried to make a point in the sermon, saying "receiving vision from God might get nasty."
- Steelers Wire
Ben Roethlisberger and Patrick Mahomes are planning a jersey swap.
- The Hill
Conservative pundit Ann Coulter is predicting the end of Donald Trump's hegemony in the GOP, saying the former president "is done.""Trump is done," Coulter, a onetime Trump booster turned critic, wrote in an email to The New York Times. "You guys should stop obsessing over him."Coulter's comments came in an article published in the Times on Sunday about the mounting tensions between Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) amid speculation of a...
- Atlanta Black Star
Meagan Good took social media by storm on Jan. 16 after the actress shared a three-for-one upload showcasing her slim figure. In the Instagram post, the […]
- USA TODAY
Am I wrong for not letting my sister-in-law, 26, and her four kids (ages 1 to 8) stay at my house for a few days? I need advice on my family drama.
Lara Logan no longer is represented by UTA, after her comments in late November in which she compared Dr. Anthony Fauci to Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who performed cruel medical experiments on Jewish prisoners. Seth Oster, spokesperson for the agency, confirmed a Mediaite report that the agency severed ties with Logan. As she […]
- Vikings Wire
The search is officially underway!
- The Daily Beast
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty ImagesThere was a time when Donald Trump made news with his rallies—when he said things that utterly shocked us. Who could forget the firestorm he started, for example, when he went after Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who knelt during the national anthem in 2017, or earlier that year when he called Barack Obama “the founder of ISIS”?Trump’s performance in Arizona on Saturday night—his first rally in months and his much-hyped chance to respond to the one-year ann
Non-Americans Are Calling Out Things Americans Say That Scream, "I'm An American," And Wow, I Guess I'm Gonna Stop Talking For A While
Fellow Americans, prepare to be roasted.View Entire Post ›
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
Sunday’s game between the Eagles and the Buccaneers included a moment during which Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians went after defensive back Andrew Adams, physically. It came after a muffed punt by Philadelphia receiver Jalen Reagor. Arians, in order to keep Adams from drawing a flag for pulling an opponent off the pile, slapped Adams [more]
- The Hill
"Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski mocked former President Trump for sending a statement Monday morning attacking the MSNBC show. "Will 'Morning Joe' be canceled? He and Mika's ratings are very low-they are having an extremely hard time finding an audience to listen to the Fake News they spurn," Trump said in his statement. "Losing them would be very sad-hope it doesn't happen!" Separately, Trump attacked Joy Reid, another...
- Yahoo Sports
That's one great teammate.
- Patriots Wire
Bill Belichick had a very simple reasoning for the Patriots' embarrassing playoff loss to the Bills.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Not many people are happier than Stephen A. Smith to see the Cowboys lose Sunday.
- Business Insider
The world's 10 richest men have made so much money during the pandemic that a one-time 99% tax on their gains could pay for all COVID-19 vaccine production and more: Oxfam
Oxfam calculated that the wealth of the world's 10 richest men grew by $15,000 a second — $1.3 billion a day — from March 2020 to November 2021.