The Pacific Island of Nauru Charges Journalists $7,100 For a Visa

Think they're trying to tell us something?

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Daniel Munoz / Reuters

A man holds a poster during a rally in support of asylum seekers in central Sydney on July 20, 2013.

Home to a controversial Australian immigration detention center, the tiny Pacific island of Nauru is raising the cost of media visas to a whopping $7,100, making the Micronesian territory one of the world’s most expensive places for foreign journalists, Reuters reports.

With the previous rate set at just $180, the 4,000% hike is fueling concerns that media are being discouraged from taking a close-up look at the manner in which Australia processes asylum-seekers. However, a Nauru government spokeswoman told Reuters by email that the astronomical charge was only “for revenue purposes.”

The steady stream of refugee boats heading for Australia is political a hot potato, dividing voters domestically and stoking regional tensions. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s administration has been lambasted by human rights organizations for rounding up asylum seekers fleeing often war-torn nations by boat.

[Reuters]

23 comments
NeverWrongSometimes
NeverWrongSometimes

It's not about the media in general.  What they're trying to say is they want to keep journalistic twits like Charlie Campbell out.  Why Time keeps this moron on their staff is beyond me.

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

On the iPad , the second and third paras are obliterated by the Spotify advert .

Carrie Baker
Carrie Baker

Yes! The world needs to be informed outraged about the way Australia is treating innocent asylum seekers. (It is not illegal to seek asylum in Australia) Thank you, Time.

Matt Zaba
Matt Zaba

Yeah right, let's let thousands and thousands come each month (most of whom have proven to already be well off and only come for our generous welfare) that cost us billions each year, and prevent genuine refugees in the process. Fool.

Claire Champion
Claire Champion

David- while I agree with most of your post- that this article is about the abuse of free and easy reporting- Naauru is an independent nation, therefore the argument isn't that the Australian government is trying to censor journalists, it is more likely that the government of Nauru is taking advantage of its status as a detention centre to make cash. They are a pretty poor nation.

SirRichard Gunn
SirRichard Gunn

Sadly there so many ignorant and ill-informed Australians and I know because I was born in Sydney and have lived in Australia all of my life and Matt you are a perfect example of an ignorant fool. I know people who work in Government and everything you have said is untrue.

Alban Vinevel
Alban Vinevel

Matt Zaba...take your Australian card and tuck it where the sun don't shine...it's about time you pulled out your 'I'm a human being card', your arrogance makes me sad.

Alban Vinevel
Alban Vinevel

By the way, seeking Asylum is a Human Right!!!

Matt Beaver
Matt Beaver

Exactly right David Asadi. The governments key election promise was to fix this problem and now the information stops flowing and there is little accountability

David Asadi
David Asadi

Wow, the point of this article is to highlight the fact that the current Australian government is deliberately making it difficult for the media to gain access to the island. Government censorship is the issue here; not whether there is a queue or whether they are genuine asylum seekers.

Dani Danijo
Dani Danijo

Again, @little manly no one is missing out. Our resettlement intake quota is not affected by the number of 'boat ppl' asylum seeker visas approved. @ Matt zaba again you are wrong, you get nothing as an asylum seeker and then if found to be a genuine refugee ( for example someone fleeing that Sth Sudan slaughter ) you get exactly what any other citizen gets in welfare- definitely nowhere near $30 000. Stop trolling. If you truly believe any of what your saying and aren't just racist please take a moment to actually look into the facts.

Tara St Wood
Tara St Wood

they just keep on coming and will keep on coming and risk them and there kids and families lives for a better life unfortunately.

thelatelounge
thelatelounge

I think It is often the case that far-left extremist advocates would abuse the transparency in asylum seeker reporting for socialism and open border agendas, as opposed to concern for genuine refugees from refugee camps, such as those in neighbouring countries of Syria. The facilitation of bogus claims of asylum under the guise of refugee action inadvertently places social cohesion and multiculturalism at risk, as it's the importation of foreign underclasses by boat, instead of genuine humanitarian refugee intake or skilled legal migration.


Though refugee advocates claim that 90% of boat people arriving to Australian moorings without documentation are deemed to be genuine refugees, one of the issues is that because the wording favours bogus claims of asylum by boat arrivals as the UNHCR Handbook specifies in Part B that if there's lack of documentation, benefit of the doubt is a preferred option if the asylum claim seems credible. One part actually specifies it's "frequently necessary to give the applicant the benefit of the doubt" because claimants can't always prove their case.


Refugee advocates who are more in line with extreme-leftist socialism had lobbied for a law that made it illegal to refer to unsolicited unauthorised irregular maritime arrivals by boat who arrive without documentation to Australian moorings as 'illegal', a law which is upheld by the Australian Press Council. As well as the overturning of bogus claims by tribunals and human rights lawyers who are more in line with far-left extremism, as opposed to genuine refugee intake.

I don't think people smuggling, traumatisation & drowning of children tagged along by others is acceptable or safe.

Matt Zaba
Matt Zaba

Sorry you're wrong. The people are sick of the abuse of our system/welfare, that's why the new government was elected. I mean, who wouldn't want to come to Australia by boat, you get >$30,000 for free each year with welfare, you get treated in detention centres with plasma tv's and the lot, they riot and cause milllions in damage and they don't get punished.

Little Manly
Little Manly

No One likes Queue Jumpers. Other deserving refugees and immigrants are missing out on their opportunity for a better life.

Lei Andrew
Lei Andrew

'[I]t is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both. If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promises a certain minimal level of income, or a minimum level of subsistence, regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not. Then it really is an impossible thing. ... Now, that Mexican immigration, over the border, is a good thing. It’s a good thing for the illegal immigrants. It’s a good thing for the United States. It’s a good thing for the citizens of the country. But, it’s only good so long as its illegal.' - Milton Friedman

Dani Danijo
Dani Danijo

Being Australian myself I can say that matt zaba has been misled by our conservative owned media. These asylum seekers cost far less to process than to detain in inhuman conditions and have every legal right to seek asylum. Approval of their refugee status also in no way effects the number of off shore refugees we accept from camps through resettlement programs.

Matt Zaba
Matt Zaba

Being Australian myself, I can say that these illegal immigrants cost us BILLIONS each year, bypassing genuine refugees who many wait years and years for a better chance.

Ghanshyam Panchal
Ghanshyam Panchal

Rajthakre ek chhetriy manas or sankuchich vykti he, ushe bade logoke bareme bolneka koi adhikar nahi he, bihar,mp,up or kahi or rajyoke logoko Mumbaimese bhaganeki bat karne vale or nich,abham vicharo rakhne vale Rajthake kaunse muhse bade logoke bareme bat kar saktehe? Raj thakre tum apni sheri sambhalo, vaha hi bhoko,bhasho,chillavo

ArmanSchwarz
ArmanSchwarz

@thelatelounge  Other than the sweeping implication that far-left "extremists" are somehow to blame for our ails, I struggle to follow your comments. You say that there is an abuse of transparency, but don't explain what that means. What exactly is abuse of transparency? It sounds like a wonderful thing...


I am not sure which left-wing extremists you've been associating with, but I am an advocate of refugee rights, and I do not claim that 90% of boat people arriving in this country are legitimate asylum seekers. To use your line of reasoning in domestic policy, we might decide that we should begin dismantling medicare on the grounds that a significant fraction of hospital claims are made by hypochondriacs, drug addicts our for a free high or lonely old ladies in need of a chat.


I don't think anyone will disagree with you that people smuggling, traumatisation and drowning of children is unacceptable, but unless you can point out how that should relate to the policy changes you're implying it doesn't really add value to what you're saying.


From what I can gather, I think you are oversimplifying a complex issue. If you don't like the UNHCR guidelines on asylum, it is perhaps because they were designed precisely to survive the kind of thinking you are promulgating.