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Pregnant Persians won't go into Aussie detention.

Two pregnant Iranians, flown from the island of Nauru to Australia to give birth, have been refusing to get off a bus when it took them to a government detention center rather than allowing them to live free on the economy.


Ian Rintoul, a spokesman for the private Refugee Action Coalition, said the women and their husbands, who had spent 15 months in detention on Nauru, were demanding accommodation in the community rather than at the detention center.

Rintoul said the families were among a group found to be legitimate refugees and released earlier this year from detention on Nauru, allowing them to live in communities there.

He said the women were both around eight months pregnant and had been brought to Australia Saturday to give birth.

They had been assured they would not be placed in detention while in Darwin, he said, and they reacted when they found the bus had taken them to a detention center where illegal aliens are held.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection denied the families had been told they would be placed in the community.

The 10-year-old son of one of the women and both women's husbands were on the bus, Rintoul said.

He said pregnant asylum seekers were often transferred from Nauru to Darwin, in far northern Australia, to give birth, but this was the first time the policy had been applied to refugees living outside of detention.

He said the refugees wanted to be housed in the community in Darwin or else returned to living in the community on Nauru. The hospital on tiny Nauru, population 10,000, was described as not equipped to deal with complex pregnancies.

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Title Annotation:Diaspora: Around the globe
Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Geographic Code:8NAUR
Date:Dec 5, 2014
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