A five-year-old boy allegedly raped on Nauru is one of 90 children who face being returned to the offshore detention centre, where his rapist is still detained, ABC's 7.30 reports.
Paediatrician Karen Zwi has risked prison time to reveal the traumatic case of the young boy ahead of a High Court decision that will likely decide whether the children are sent back to Nauru.
Dr Zwi said the boy suffered from intense mental trauma as a result of the alleged rape.
"Like many other children who are very distressed he regressed, he began bed-wetting, he became very anxious about his mother's well being, he actually began to self-harm, as I've seen several other children do as well, and eventually he was transferred over to the mainland for treatment," Dr Zwi told 7.30 in a report aired Tuesday night.
The child was terrified of being returned to Nauru, the scene of his traumatic alleged attack, she said.
"That is this huge cloud hanging over him. That he will be returned to an absolutely traumatic and devastating environment for him."
The boy is one of 90 children, including 37 babies the Turnbull government wants to put on a plane, as early as next week, and send to Nauru's offshore processing centre. All were brought back to Australia from offshore centres in Nauru or Manus Island, mostly for medical treatment.
The group is party to a High Court case where the Human Rights Law Centre is challenging the government's policy of sending uninvited boat arrivals to life in limbo on the two small islands.
"These kids feel to me like they've been through a mincing machine," Dr Zwi said.
"They've had one traumatic event after another. I sometimes feel they are broken into little bits and it's really hard to put the pieces back together again," she said.
A second paediatrician, Dr Hasantha Gunasekera spoke to 7.30 about the mental anguish and physical harm children held at Nauru experience, in defiance of the Border Force Act that stipulates anyone working in an immigration facility faces up to two years imprisonment for publicly revealing the goings on inside the centres.
A report of a sexual assault among refugees held on Nauru is made every 13 days, most of the alleged victims being children, Dr Gunasekera told 7.30.
"We hardly ever see young children and adolescents so traumatised by life that they would want to take their own life," he said.
"But in Nauru and in detention centres where kids have been kept, sometimes for most of their life, we see very young children who just can't take it anymore and try to kill themselves or wanting to hurt themselves, or saying things like, 'I may as well just jump off the roof,'" he said.
Nauru police commissioner Corey Caleb rejected the reports, claiming "refugees regularly fabricate allegations of assault and sexual assault".
In statement released on Tuesday, Commissioner Caleb lambasted "friendly Australian journalists who have a political agenda" for publicising the "lies".
"They tell us they have been assaulted but their stories seldom add up," he said.
He accused journalists of encouraging false reporting, adding that the refugees would be charged with making a false complaint had the allegation been made in Australia.
The High Court decision will be handed down on Wednesday morning.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has flagged his intention to move quickly to send the asylum seekers to Nauru, saying this will reduce the number of children in detention on the mainland to just seven.
Mr Dutton's office said there would be no comment in the lead up to the High Court decision.
If the government loses the case, it's possible the people could be sent to Christmas Island -- which is believed to have been prepared for this contingency -- where they would be kept in detention.
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