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Two Australians have been detained by local police on the island of Nauru, Fairfax Media can reveal.
The Nauruan government confirmed late on Tuesday morning two Australian citizens were awaiting deportation after being detained under the country's immigration laws.
“They are being provided with consular access. The government reserves the right to revoke any visa by a foreign national if deemed to be in our national interest,” Nauru's media and public information unit said in a statement.
Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said the Australian government was providing consular assistance to “a number of Australian citizens detained” on the island.
“Due to privacy obligations we are unable to provide further information,” a DFAT spokeswoman said.
A source at the Australian consulate in Nauru said consular staff had visited two people at the Nauruan police station on Monday afternoon.
“They were working at the detention centre,” the source said. “They don't know why they were detained.”
It is not clear who the people are, their reasons for being in Nauru or whether they have been charged. The consular source said they did not know which "stakeholder" the Australians were working with at the centre.
There are several foreign companies providing services to the detention apparatus on the tiny island nation, including Broadspectrum, Wilson Security, International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) and Canstruct.
Two non-government sources with contacts on Nauru told Fairfax Media that Australian Border Force officers and Wilson Security employees were frequent visitors to Nauru's prison facility on Monday.
Broadspectrum, Wilson Security and the Nauruan police department have been contacted for more information.
Workers at numerous international organisations are responsible for 380 men, women and children currently detained at the Australian-run facility in Nauru.
The facility is designated as “open” meaning refugees and asylum seekers can leave during the day and return at night.
In 2015, Nauruan police arrested nearly 200 refugees and asylum seekers after a wave of protests about their detention.
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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