By Ginny Stein
Distressing allegations have been made about the treatment of a sexual assault victim and her family on Nauru, with sources close to the investigation listing serious shortfalls by authorities.
In May this year she was given a pass-out from the detention centre to visit a friend.
On her way back to the centre she was grabbed by a single attacker, dragged into bushes and assaulted in a prolonged attack.
Bloodied, bruised and hysterical, Nazanin managed to escape and run down the road, attracting the attention of a passerby who called police.
It was some hours before they responded.
A friend of Nazanin’s, a refugee living in the community in Nauru, was with police when she was found.
“She was not wearing any clothing, not even shoes. Just shouting,” the friend said.
“She was curled up in a corner holding a stick, in a state of shock and shaking.
“When I got closer I noticed under her eyes were dark blue, bruised. There were bruises on her body.”
Sources say police stopped to watch fireworks display
Sources close to the investigation said when police found Nazanin, they took her back to the police station, but not before stopping off for half an hour to watch a fireworks display.
Under the Border Force Act, anyone who has worked in an immigration processing centre can risk jail if they disclose “protected information”, therefore Lateline cannot identify these sources.
At the police station, a junior female police officer tried to question Nazanin, who was becoming increasingly distraught.
Sources said a detention centre employee stepped in to try to stop the interrogation and push for her to be taken to hospital.
Despite this, attempts to question Nazanin continued for a further three or four hours.
Meanwhile, Nazanin’s family back inside the detention centre had no idea where she was and why she had not returned from visiting her friend hours earlier.
Her brother Omid told Lateline that around midnight he and his mother were told Nazanin had been assaulted.
Family told Nazanin should be moved to Brisbane
In the wake of the attack, Nazanin’s health deteriorated.
She had been kept separate from her family for some time and she was not eating.
When her kidneys shut down, the family was told Nazanin should be moved to Brisbane.
Omid said they were told there was only room on the plane for his sister, but they were under the impression they would be able to join her later.
“The doctor and another team leader, both of them had a meeting with us and they told us on Sunday we will join my sister,” he said.
“It was really hard, but I persuaded my mother, just lay here for two days and we will join her. So we just allowed them to send Nazanin.