Amnesty International's credibility has been shredded after its Senior Director of Research Anna Neistat was caught out making false and misleading claims about alleged abuse and neglect in regional processing of Illegal Maritime Arrivals in Nauru.
Ms Neistat is the author of Amnesty International's latest "report" on Nauru and regional processing which alleges widespread abuse, but as with Ms Neistat's public statements the report contains a considerable number of unverified claims and presents them as fact.
On Monday Ms Neistat was interviewed on the ABC's Lateline programme:
NEISTAT CLAIM: "I spoke to many children, many of whom talked about wanting to commit suicide, some of them have."
FACT: No children have committed suicide on Nauru.
NEISTAT CLAIM: "The boats haven't stopped coming, they just don't sink at the Australian shore anymore, they are pushed back…..and people do continue to die at sea."
TODAY'S AUSTRALIAN: "Ms Neistat….conceded….contrary to the impression she gave….no asylum seekers were known to have drowned trying to reach Australia."
FACT: Since December 2013 there have been no known deaths at sea under Operation Sovereign Borders.
NEISTAT CLAIM: "People also die on Nauru…..They commit suicide."
FACT: There has been one suicide on Nauru since regional processing re-opened in 2012 which was widely reported. There have been two other deaths – an accidental drowning and a person with a heart condition.
Ms Neistat gave several other interviews to the ABC this week and appears to have a predilection for making statements that she cannot substantiate.
ABC 774: "….some of the most shocking findings go into the rate of suicide…."
Then: "People are dying on Nauru….they die from diseases….."
ABC RN: "…the kind of abuses I saw….sexual assault….violent attacks…."…. "Did you see that?.....I interviewed people….."
Then: "….the most striking feature of what I saw in Nauru is…this level of trauma and self-harm and suicide is prevalent in children…."
"Did you see evidence of self-harm of children? I talked, I mean, I have not seen the actual physical evidence."
Ms Neistat and her report are difficult to believe.