Computers for asylum seekers on Manus Island have had their camera functions removed days after Fairfax Media published photographs of life in the island's camp, refugee advocates claims.
The photographs, which were sent from the camp to the mainland without the knowledge of the department of immigration, show conditions are very basic.
Despite the prevalence of malaria on the island, there was little protection offered for children from disease-carrying mosquitoes, with flywire hanging loose over doorways. There were no doors on the dongas to offer privacy either, and no airconditioning.
Pamela Curr, campaign co-ordinator for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, said: ''These people have come from Iran where they are censored to Australia where they are experiencing the same censorship.
''We may not torture or kill them but we will lock them up and deny them the right of free speech.''
The Department of Immigration has previously released stock photographs of the island's processing camp, but since asylum seekers began to arrive on the island in November, the media have been unable to access the camp to verify conditions.
On Sunday, an asylum seeker on Manus reported that the tablet computers provided for asylum seekers' use had been collected by camp staff and returned with the camera functions disabled.
The department's communications manager Sandi Logan suggested on Twitter that the controversy was a ''beat-up''. Besides, he said, cameras were banned in all detention centres.
''No detention or processing facility allows cameras of any sort,'' Mr Logan wrote. ''If disabling's occurred, it's our duty of care around client privacy.''