Two major human-rights group say Australia is intentionally abusing refugees at a detention facility as part of an attempt to stop them from seeking asylum. A report released Tuesday by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch claims refugees held on the remote Pacific island nation of Nauru suffer daily violence and poor medical treatment, leading to numerous suicide attempts. Researchers visited the island in July without notifying authorities of the reason for their visit. They say Australian officials are aware of the problems at the facility but are doing nothing to fix them—in the hopes of deterring other refugees. “In my experience there is no other developed country that I can think of who has pursued this course of conduct with people who are fleeing persecution, who are seeking freedom, who are accused of no crime,” one of the researchers, Michael Bochenek of Human Rights Watch, told CNN. “There is no parallel for this.” Australian authorities have denied the allegations.
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