Lady Mondegreen alerted me to this horrific story by Martin McKenzie-Murray

Nazanin left the Nauru refugee camp one morning on a day pass, happy to be visiting some friends who had been settled on the island – she and her family had been in detention for 26 months. “She used a bus, and I called a friend and he said she was there,” Dabal tells me. “My sister was happy to leave this camp for a day.”

She never returned. At 6 o’clock that evening, Dabal and his mother reported her absence to security guards. Something wasn’t right. In response, the guards floated theories of missed buses or an innocent loss of time, benign explanations for what the family felt was a sinister disappearance. By 7pm, several hours past Nazanin’s curfew, the camp authorities began to wonder, too. “They realise it was bigger than the things they thought,” Dabal says.

Police found her at 9 pm, beaten and disoriented.

Much of the reporting of Nauru focuses on the camps, or regional processing centres. But there is another reality lived outside it, once refugees are settled. For many months now, hostility towards refugees has grown among Nauruans. Local resentment about the 2013 riots has metastasised, mixed with anxieties about employment and culture. Many settled refugees have been assaulted, and there are frequent threats to storm the camps themselves.

In other words refugees are sitting ducks, imprisoned on a small island where the locals hate them. Women are placed in isolated locations, without proper locks on the doors. The private company the Australian government pays to house the refugees says there’s no problem.

It’s unusual that they haven’t encountered any allegations of rape or sexual assault, because there are many. Such as the story of Beth, a young refugee who was released into the Nauruan community in May. Allegedly Beth, whose name I have changed, was sitting on the beach with some other women when local men gave her a drink. Beth began to feel woozy, before being dragged into bushes by two or three men and raped. They then poured fuel on her and set her alight.

She had an abortion, then she tried to kill herself.

There are others.

McKenzie-Murray indicts the refugee camp system:

We have built camps in our name that house damaged children, yet denude privacy and employ guards without background checks. Camps that encourage abuse, intimidation and the hypersexualisation of children. Camps that cannot provide nominal release dates to its subjects, creating purgatories. Camps that repel journalists with exaggerated visa fees, and punish detainees who speak to them distantly.

On Nauru, aid workers have been traumatised, discredited, sacked without explanation and had their exoneration ignored. We have criminalised their disclosure of child abuse. Have, in fact, created a distant exclusion zone for mandatory reporting; a black site whose governing legislation is a repudiation of our own laws. “If I see child abuse in Australia and I don’t report it, I can get into enormous trouble,” David Isaacs, a paediatrician, said last week. “If I see child abuse on Nauru and I do report it, I might go to prison for two years.”

And that’s not the end of it.

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