Salvation Army confirms closure of Nauru facilities

Salvation Army confirms closure of Nauru facilities

Salvation Army confirms closure of Nauru facilities

Posted 7 November 2012, 13:40 AEDT

Australian NGO The Salvation Army has defended its staff at the Australian immigration centre in Nauru, while confirming it has closed some facilities at the centre due to a mass protest and hunger strike.

Refugee advocates say up to 300 people have been protesting and refusing food over the past week.

The Salvation Army says its frontline staff have been temporarily withdrawn and the canteen, gym, library and education rooms have been closed.

A spokesman says it is standard operating procedure during a protest and none of the staff feels in danger.

In a statement, the Salvation Army confirmed its position in opposing the Australian Government's offshore processing policy, and reiterated support of its staff on Nauru and Manus Island.

"It has deeply saddened me to hear the attacks by some people in the community on our organisation and our people, almost all of which are based on inaccurate information and allegations," the statement said.

"It astounds me that some people who oppose this policy, and say they care for the refugees, have decided to attack one of the organisations that is prepared to go into the heat and harshness of this environment to be with the people."