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Monday, 05 November 2012 - 13:23
Hunger strike by asylum seekers on the Pacific island of Nauru
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A hunger strike by asylum seekers on the Pacific island of Nauru has entered a fifth day, weeks after Australia re-opened its processing camp there.

A refugee advocate said about 300 people were refusing food.

A government spokesman said numbers were fluctuating and some meals were being eaten.

The controversial policy - whereby asylum seekers arriving by boat are removed from Australia to camps in Nauru and Papua New Guinea while their claims are assessed - was abandoned by the ruling Labor Party in 2008.

Since the camp on Nauru was reopened in early September, more than 370 asylum seekers - mostly from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan - have been transferred there.

On Sunday, the immigration department said 11 men had chosen to return to Sri Lanka rather than pursue asylum claims from Nauru.

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