Nauru. Dissatisfaction with the conditions of the refugees placed by Nauru camps in Australia on several occasions led to protests during the year. In March, Nauri police arrested 183 people who objected to the treatment they received. According to COUNTRYAAH, Yaren District is the capital of Nauru which is located in Micronesia. The arrest was in line with the warning issued earlier by the government which said that groups of three or more people who did not dissolve within 15 minutes would be arrested and at risk of being sentenced to up to three years in prison. In mid-March, about 300 people from refugee camps across Nauru conducted a peaceful protest against the arrest. Later in the month, the government promised to improve conditions in the camps. It had previously been reported that camp employees were guilty of rape, sexual exploitation of children and of selling drugs in exchange for sexual services.
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On July 1, an Australian law came into force prohibiting persons working directly or indirectly for the immigration authority to pass on information about the refugee reception facilities to anyone other than the authority itself, the police or the judiciary. The employee who leaks information to the media risks being sentenced to prison for up to two years.
In October, the police conducted a rescue against the Save the Children office and the following month the organization announced that it was ending its work among asylum seekers in the country. Representatives said in connection with this sharp criticism of how Save the Children has been dealt with by the Naurus and Australian governments.
The political life of Nauru, one of the smallest republics in the world, continued to be characterized, in the early years of the 21st century, by a strong instability generated by the tensions between the two main sides of the island linked, rather than to specific political programs, the prestige of individual leaders and their ability to keep the 18 Members of Parliament united. After the elections of April 2000, R. Harris and B. Dowiyogo took turns repeatedly to the presidency, forced to resign because they were discouraged by the legislative assembly, which nevertheless returned to re-elect them within a few months. After Dowiyogo’s death (March 2003) the office of president was assumed by D. Giura, who remained in office until the new political elections took place in May 2003. Following the formation of the new Parliament, L. Scotty was elected head of state who, replaced in August again by Harris, returned to office in June 2004 and was reappointed after the 2005 elections. These continuous changes at the top of the state made it even more difficult to find a solution to the very serious financial problems facing the country, which worsened following the sanctions imposed in December 2001 by the Financial Action Taske Force (FATF, an international organization founded in 1989 to initiative of the G7), due to the lack of regulation of the country’s banking system, considered a center for money laundering and financing of terrorist activities. The pressing demands of the international community prompted the government to take action, and more restrictive credit legislation was enacted in 2004. The sharp worsening of the state’s financial situation, now on the verge of bankruptcy, led the government, in October 2005, to launch an appeal to the international community to obtain new funds; in the same month the FATF decided to lift the sanctions.