A lawyer working with asylum seekers on Christmas Island says the detainees are becoming increasingly distressed by the Federal Government’s policy changes.
The government has suspended the processing of all new applications for protection by people from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
Asylum seekers from those two nations who are already on Christmas Island will still have their claims processed.
The Director of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre David Manne says the level of unrest at the facility has grown.
“There is a strong level of fear amongst even those who have been told that they won’t be caught out by the announcement that somehow they too will be negatively affected,” he said.
“There is a real level among some of the asylum seekers of confusion and of distress.”
Extra federal police have been sent to Christmas Island to deal with any backlash to the policy change.