Sunday, March 8, 2015

Police investigate Save the Children whistleblowers over Nauru abuse report Exclusive: Immigration department asks AFP to investigate submission to Human Rights Commission detailing sexual and physical abuse of children

Ben Doherty The Guardian March 4, 2015

Child asylum seekers on Nauru stage a protest.
Child protection whistleblowers who alerted the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to child sexual abuse, violence and self-harm on Nauru are being investigated by the Australian federal police.
Guardian Australia has discovered the AFP has been asked by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to investigate Save the Children staff who anonymously wrote a submission to the commission’s inquiry, outlining cases of sexual and physical abuse of children, and acts of self-harm……
The commission was refused permission to visit Nauru. It relied on first-hand professional accounts such as submission 183, and testimony from detainees. The commission found: ‘Children on Nauru are suffering from extreme levels of physical, emotional, psychological and developmental distress.’
Tony Abbott has rejected the report as partisan, and a ‘transparent stitch-up‘.
The AFP confirmed to the commission it was investigating the author or authors of submission 183 over the attached working documents.
Police are investigating a suspected breach of section 70 of the Crimes Act, concerning ‘disclosure of information by commonwealth officers’. A single disclosure carries a penalty of up to two years in jail………….
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