Statement from the Government of Nauru – Re: Four Corners Oct 17, 2016

 

Last night’s Four Corners program on the ABC was yet another example of the ABC’s biased political propaganda and lies, and was an insult to the people of Nauru.

It was clear that these children were coached, and that the entire process of filming the refugees was stage-managed, as the program has not been to Nauru. Despite this, viewers could clearly see that the refugees featured were well dressed, well-groomed and healthy. We know they will say anything to influence the Australian Government to bring them to Australia – a goal that motivated them to pay large amounts of money to people smugglers – which includes making false claims against the Nauruan people.

The program, which did not seek comment from the Government of Nauru before going to air, misrepresented the facts and allowed Save the Children – a discredited organisation that had a clear agenda when on Nauru – to make wild and unsubstantiated claims.

No child is in detention on Nauru, and children live with their families in safe and comfortable accommodation, mostly in new housing close to shops, facilities and beaches. Nauru is not a violent country and has a crime rate lower than Australia. There are fights in Australian schools on a daily basis and there is crime in Australia. The Australian news shows acts of crime each night that are far more violent that anything Nauru has experienced; so on this basis, Four Corners should be campaigning for no refugees to be allowed into such a violent society as Australia. Clearly they would not advocate this because it would – in context – be incorrect, yet they are willing to falsely portray Nauru as an unsafe nation, which it is not.

The program showed incorrect pictures of schools in a deliberate attempt to misrepresent the facts, while not mentioning the educational facilities across Nauru that are similar to Australian schools, not speaking to any Nauruan educators or principals, and not showing the new school that was recently completed. It also missed the point that if Nauruan schools are good enough for our children, why are they not for refugee children?

In the same way the program showed the old Nauru hospital which is no longer in operation, and failed to mention the new $27 million state of the art medical facility to which refugees have unrestricted and free access.

This report was an embarrassment to journalism. From start to finish it was denigrating, racist, false and pure political activism.