Fifteen asylum seekers are believed to have collapsed and seven given medical treatment, as the hunger strike on Nauru escalates.
Up to 300 men are now reportedly refusing to eat in protest at the conditions on the Pacific island and the lack of information given to them about their processing.
The reports about the widening of the hunger strike came as two more boats with a total of 75 passengers were found in Australian waters.
The boats, one carrying 63 people and another with 12 people aboard, were intercepted north-west of Christmas Island on Friday night. The passengers will be transferred to Christmas Island to undergo security, health and identity checks.
Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition said that the Iranian man, whose attempted suicide on Wednesday had sparked the hunger strike, had been returned to detention.
He said the asylum seekers on Nauru had requested a meeting with a representative of the Department of Immigration but no one had come to speak to them.
He said that the asylum seekers had told the coalition that they would continue with the hunger strike until they got their rights. “Our rights means taking us back to Australia and starting our processing,” one of them reportedly said.
Mr Rintoul said he understood one man had been given a glucose drip after collapsing.
A spokesman for the Department of Immigration said that it was hard to tell how many people were participating in the hunger strike because the numbers were fluctuating.
He said that no one had been taken to hospital, and everyone had access to medical facilities and food and water.
Jamal Daoud from the Social Justice Network said the asylum seekers he was in touch with on Nauru told him they were prepared to starve to death if necessary.
“We have lost our wealth and now we are losing our mental health,” they told him.
Mr Daoud said they also told him the conditions on Nauru were “hell”, particularly living in tents in the hot and humid weather.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.