Most Nauru hunger strikers quit

ALL but six asylum seekers on Nauru have ended a 12-day hunger strike, buoyed by news Amnesty International would send a delegation to the island.

Omid, the Iranian on the 33rd day of his hunger strike on Tuesday, continues as do five other Iranians. A number of Hindu Tamils who have been on hunger strike will be observing a religious six-day fast, advocates said.

Amnesty International's team will visit Nauru from Monday, November 19, to assess the human rights situation. Members will interview asylum seekers and meet officials from the department of immigration and citizenship, the Nauruan government, the Salvation Army and health workers. This follows a Red Cross visit last week.

Mohammed, an asylum seeker on Nauru, told Fairfax the men had broken their hunger strike at breakfast on Tuesday. He had taken a glass of soup, and felt better than he had in days.

''We have taken the decision to just stop the hunger strike,'' he said. ''I think Amnesty International, when they come here, we hope that when they see the situation and the condition of us, I think they will put the pressure on the government of Australia to just change the policy and they will help us to take us back to Australia and to help us with processing.''

Twenty-three more asylum seekers were sent to Nauru on Monday, bringing the total to 400. The new arrivals joined the hunger strike but also abandoned it on Tuesday.

The Amnesty delegation will present a briefing paper on the trip on Friday.

The story Most Nauru hunger strikers quit first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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