A REJECTION OF CRITICISM OF NAURU ASYLUM SEEKER DETENTION CENTERS

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YAREN, Nauru (February 5, 2002 – Radio Australia)---An organization running the immigration detention centers on Nauru has denied there is a shortage of food and overcrowding problems on the island.

But Radio Australia correspondent Nonee Walsh reports that a refugee advocacy group has claimed increasing desperation cause by different processing of asylum claims and overcrowding.

"The group "Spare Rooms for Refugees" alleges water shortages, severe overcrowding, and problems with food.

"The International Organization for Migration, which runs the centers, says the 1,200 people being held is at the maximum limit.

"Regional representative Dennis Knighthill has confirmed an extended electricity outage cut water supplies from Naru's desalination plant. He says there's no shortage of drinking water, or food.

"Mr. Knighthill says processing of all refugees from the ships the TamPa and HMAS Minoura has been done by the UNHCR.

"Decisions on refugee status have not been handed down.

"The rest of the asylum seekers are being processed by the Australian Department of Immigration.

"Nonee Walsh, Radio Australia, Nauru."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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