Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Australia makes new PR push for Nauru refugees

Australia makes new PR push for Nauru refugees

Refugees hold signs during a protest against the Australia-Cambodia refugee deal last year on Nauru.
Refugees hold signs during a protest against the Australia-Cambodia refugee deal last year on Nauru. Photo supplied

Australia makes new PR push for Nauru refugees

Australia has begun another round of public relations campaigning in an attempt to persuade refugees on the Pacific island of Nauru to resettle in Cambodia under a controversial agreement signed last year.

A government contractor on Nauru, Connect Settlement Services, has reportedly been passing out leaflets in a camp reserved for single male asylum seekers, angering residents.

“In the last few days, Connect has started to put the Cambodian information sheet under the doors of every room in the single men’s camp,” said Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition Sydney.

“This has really angered the men, who see it as harassment and mental torture. They said [they] have already rejected Cambodia.”

A Cambodian delegation visited Nauru in September and shortly afterwards, the government announced that two more refugees had agreed to resettle in Phnom Penh under the A$55 million (US$39.4 million) deal.

Australia has been seeking alternative third-country resettlement options, including the Philippines, which rejected the proposal. Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak could not be reached yesterday.

Australian officials did not respond to a request for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Former opposition leader tells soldiers, Cambodians to unite to fight CPP

    Former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) President Sam Rainsy has called for a popular uprising after the July 29 national elections to force a change of government. He called on the armed forces and people to stand united to fight the ruling Cambodian People’s Party-led

  • Police warn boycott FB group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign”

    Police said on Tuesday that they will pick up members of a Facebook group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign” that promotes a boycott of next month’s national elections. However, police merely planned to “educate” the group for now, but warned that if the

  • Court told to act against former opposition leader for insulting King

    Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana has ordered the Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor to begin legal proceedings against the Cambodia National Rescue Movement (CNRM) president, Sam Rainsy, for “insulting” the King, Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin told The Post. The “insult” was determined after

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do