"On Nauru, the Australian government runs an open-air prison designed to inflict as much suffering as necessary to stop some of the world’s most vulnerable people from trying to find safety in Australia," Anna Neistat, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, said in a statement following the report's release.
She added that "the combination of refugees’ severe mental anguish, the intentionally harmful nature of the system, and the fact that the goal of offshore processing is intended to intimidate or coerce others to achieve a specific outcome, means that Australia’s offshore 'processing' regime fits the definition of torture under international law."
The Nauru facility was opened in 2001 and ran until 2008. In 2012, it was reopened following a surge in the number of maritime arrivals of asylum seekers. The center has been in focus of a scandal since August after media published over 2,000 leaked files documenting large-scale abuse, particularly of children, at the facility.