Nauru Government warns refugees and Australian advocates
The Government of Nauru has
revealed it has credible information that a group of refugees on
the island are planning provocative protests and civil unrest
during the coming week to coincide with the nation's Independence
Day celebrations and the pending Australian High Court
However Justice Minister David Adeang said violence and unlawful
acts will not be tolerated and these actions will only create
unnecessary tension between refugees and locals.
"We consider our refugee friends as guests in our country and we
work hard to make their lives comfortable but sadly there is a
small element of trouble-makers who don't care about Nauru and
don't value our hospitality," Mr Adeang said.
He said they are angry because they have paid money to people
smugglers with the expectation that they would get to
"They are being told by Australian refugee advocates and lawyers
that the best way to get to Australia is to cause trouble in
The minister said the police will not be intimidated by violent
protests and will enforce the law with refugees just as they do
with anyone else.
"Most refugees are settled and doing the best they can, but a
minority continue to be aggressive and make false accusations
against our police as well as threaten and intimidate other
He said refugees who protested in March last year physically
threatened other refugees who did not want to join the protest and
forced them to leave their jobs, resulting in several having to be
moved to secret locations for their safety.
Mr Adeang said advocates in Australia were giving refugees on
Nauru false hope.
"Our message to the refugee community is that violence and
unlawful protests will do nothing more than get you arrested.
"We have one law for all, and if you break it you will be treated
exactly as we treat all people on Nauru."
Mr Adeang advised refugees that any protest must be peaceful with
public safety not jeopardised and roads not blocked.