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“A hunger strike by asylum seekers has entered its fifth day at an Australian processing centre in Nauru.

Refugee advocates say around 300 people are refusing food and water in a bid to get better treatment at the centre and more information about when their claims will be processed.

Up to 10 people have been given medical treatment, suffering from what the Australia’s Department of Immigration calls “heat exhaustion”.

The immigration department has tried to downplay the protests,saying more than 300 meals were eaten on Sunday.

The Refugee Action Coalition’s spokesman, Ian Rintoul, has told the immigration department is “desperate” to pretend the situation on Nauru is not serious.

“There’s very clearly a hunger strike and a serious situation developing on Nauru and I think the government will be far better addressing that rather than trying to deflect with some idea that the seriousness can be measured by the amounts of meals or whatever that may have been eaten on a particular day,” he said.


Another group of asylum seekers has decided to voluntarily return home instead of staying at the detention centre on Nauru.

The Australian Immigration Department says 11 Sri Lankan men have chosen not to pursue their asylum claims.

Under Australia’s new immigration laws, asylum seekers who arrive by boat are being sent to Nauru or Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island for processing.

Earlier this week a group of Iraqi and Iranian asylum seekers decided to return home rather than wait for their claims to be processed on Nauru.

There are currently 377 asylum seekers being held on Nauru under an agreement with the Australian Government”