– Nauru’s government was locked in meetings with Australian Federal Police and immigration officials on Saturday to decide what to do with 50 to 60 asylum seekers charged over riots that have largely destroyed the island’s detention centre, with a damages bill estimated at $60 million.
Six asylum seekers have been taken to hospital, while 125 were being held in jail and 24 in the small police watchhouse, next door to the island’s main high school.
The director of Nauru Media, Sharain Hiram, said the acting president had made a televised address urging Nauruans to stay away from the ruined camp.
Local workers at the centre had been told not to go to work, she said, leaving only security guards, the federal police and “volunteers”, who had restored control at the centre.
At the height of the riot on Friday night, the Nauruan government called for local people to join security forces as deputies. “About 250 locals went up there to help. Nobody got hurt, just minor injuries because people were throwing stones,” Ms Hiram said.
The Nauruan Parliament passed new legislation on Friday night allowing police to hold people without charge for up to seven days. The ringleaders face property damage, destruction of property and riotous behaviour charges, which carry penalties of one to seven years.
80% of the centre has been destroyed, with only the kitchen and recreation buildings standing. Accommodation blocks designed to hold up to 616 people were burnt to the ground, as were office blocks. A dining room and health centre were also destroyed.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Immigration said asylum seekers would be moved to another site on the island that has been bulldozed in preparation for the construction of a new facility for families.
All 550 asylum seekers will now have to sleep in tents and marquees until replacement facilities can be built.
The Immigration Department has brought all non-essential staff back to Australia and has halted the processing of asylum seekers’ claims for refugee protection.
A spokeswoman for the Nauruan government said only 10 asylum seekers were not involved in the riots.
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said Labor should shoulder responsibility for the riots, saying it was sparked by asylum seekers’ frustration that their claims had not yet been processed.
But a witness on Nauru who asked not to be named said the riot was sparked by rumours that the Manus Island centre had been closed – Bianca Hall and Kirsty Needham


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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