Hazara asylum seekers hunger strike on Nauru, 2003-2004
For decades, Australia’s notoriously strict immigration policy has prevented asylum seekers from residing on the mainland of the continent. From 2001 to 2008, Nauru, the smallest sovereign island nation in the world, supported itself economically by hosting an Australian detention center in exchange for medical and financial support. During that time period, the detention center hosted between 200 and 1200 refugees, mainly ethnically Hazara Afghanis. Hazara are a Shi’a sect of Muslims often persecuted by the Sunni majority in Afghanistan and Pakistan.