The Nauru detention centre is an example of the stark reality of how squalid conditions can be in some detention centres across the world. The centre is cramped and many are sharing accommodation. The hospital in the centre is not operating as it should, and offices are simply being used for consultations.
Many journalists have found it difficult to enter and document on the detention centre. The government in fact charges media an $8000 visa application fee, and since the building opened only one journalist has legally reported on the premise. However, recently, a news crew from Channel Nine’s A Current Affair were able to gain rare access into Nauru.
Even when the media is allowed, there is an idea that managers in the centre try to cover up the harshest realities that occur in the centre. On the other hand, some argue that the reason why media and people at large cannot gain access into detention centres easily is because of ‘operational discipline’: as it helps prevent sharing intelligence information to people smugglers.
Perhaps what is most worrying about this issue is that if media access to the centre is so infrequent it is hard to assess how bad the conditions there are. Especially when we are dealing with huge atrocities that could potentially be occurring.
Davidson, H. ‘A Current Affair: story of visit to Nauru detention centre will ‘stun Australia’’ The Guardian [London] 18 June 2016