‘It may be that even as devastating a collection of materials as the Nauru files will do little to shift current Australian policy.’ Photograph: Facebook

‘It may be that even as devastating a collection of materials as the Nauru files will do little to shift current Australian policy.’ Photograph: Facebook

The Nauru files provide the evidence. Malcolm Turnbull can never plead ignorance

19 August 2016

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The Nauru files paint a searing picture of the collapse of basic humanity in the detention centre. History is unlikely to be kind to those who endorsed it.

The publication by the Guardian of a remarkable cache of documents from the Australian-funded refugee detention camp on the Pacific island of Nauru may prove a crucial moment in undermining the credibility of a policy of incarceration which bodies such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have long denounced for its meanness and cruelty.

With rare exceptions, the documents paint a searing picture of the collapse of basic humanity, a Lord of the Flies scenario of which any liberal democracy should be utterly ashamed. No Australian politicians or bureaucrats responsible for Nauru will now be able to plead ignorance if one day they are held to account before a royal commission or similar investigative tribunal.

Read The Nauru files provide evidence Malcom Turnbull can never plead ignorance by William Maley published the Guardian.

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