Amnesty International's senior director for research Anna Neistat speaks during a press conference in Sydney on October 18, 2016. / AFP / WILLIAM WEST
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Australia Tuesday rejected a claim by rights group Amnesty International that conditions on a tiny South Pacific island where about 400 Australian-bound asylum seekers are held "amount to torture".Under Australia's tough immigration policy, asylum seekers intercepted trying to reach the country by boat are sent for processing at a camp in Nauru or to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and are not eligible for resettlement in Australia.Many asylum seekers on Nauru are being driven to attempt suicide to escape the prison-like conditions they face in indefinite detention, Amnesty alleged in a detailed report.Amnesty's report, titled "Island of Despair", joins a chorus of criticism by human rights groups of Australia's immigration policy, and comes just weeks after the United Nations said Nauru was failing to protect children.
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