Nauru. According to
countryaah, news reporting during the year was customarily
dominated by the refugee camps set up by Australia in Nauru.
In January, a report came out showing that the time spent by
refugees in the camp increased and averaged nearly 450 days.
In April, an Iranian man set fire to himself before the
eyes of UNHCR officials visiting the camp. Less than a week
later, a woman from Somalia carried out a similar protest
action. In October, Australia received criticism from both
the UN and Amnesty International. In particular, the UN
highlighted the children's vulnerable situation in the
refugee repository and the inability of both countries to
investigate allegations of sexual abuse against minors.
In May, a number of new laws were added. Among other
things, the penalty for sexual offenses was sharpened while
rape within the marriage was punishable. The death penalty
was abolished and homosexuality decriminalized. The new laws
replaced a statute from 1899.
New elections were announced in early July after a period
of political turbulence. Earlier in the summer, Parliament
closed three opposition politicians at the request of the
government. The banned parliamentarians were accused of
damaging the country's reputation by criticizing the
government's policy towards foreign journalists. The tone
between government and opposition became fierce during the
However, the election itself got approved by election
observers and ended with the re-election of 13 out of 19
members. Among those who gained renewed confidence were
Baron Waqa, who was re-elected by Parliament two days after
the election for a new term as President.