Aussie PR Firm Criticised For Releasing Personal Details Of Woman Raped In Offshore Detention

Aussie PR Firm Criticised For Releasing Personal Details Of Woman Raped In Offshore Detention
SHARE
THIS



A complaint has been made to the OECD concerning Aussie PR firm Mercer PR, after it published the personal details of a woman raped at Australia’s offshore detention centre on Nauru. Mercer PR is the agency acting for the Nauruan Government.

For the past two years, the National Justice Project (NJP) and Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru (AWSWN) have been fighting for justice for a woman known as “Najma” who was raped on Nauru.  Following the rape, her sensitive personal details were allegedly released to the media by Mercer PR.

AWSWN and NJP made a complaint to the Australian OECD contact point on Najma’s behalf to demand justice for the breach of her rights and to protect other women on Nauru from similar breaches.

Adjunct Professor George Newhouse of NJP said: “It is my view that by releasing these intimate details, it is likely that Mercer PR and the Nauru government have made women on Nauru unsafe by deterring them from making complaints about rape and gender-based violence to the police. Their actions have also re-traumatised Najma.”

AWSWN’s Julie Macken said: “In my opinion, the Nauruan government put the sensitive details of a woman’s assault into a media release to send a clear and brutal message to any other woman wanting to speak about their sexual assault.

“We will never know whether the Australian government condoned or condemned this breach of Najma’s human rights because the prime minister appears to have nothing to say about it. Najma is a woman of enormous strength and courage and I hope she will recover, the same cannot be said for the Australian government that looks on and does not acknowledge the abuse of women on Nauru.”

In a statement, the NJP added: “This case shows that Australian companies working for foreign governments need to maintain international human rights notwithstanding their client’s instructions. The NJP is investigating whether further legal action could be taken.”

This afternoon, Mercer PR issued a follow-up statement expressing its regret over the incident. The statement read in full:

Our thoughts are with the woman referred to in this article. We expressed regret about this matter in 2015 and at that time we immediately changed procedures to address what happened.

This report from an obscure government organisation with no authority, about OECD guidelines no one has heard of except activist lawyers, is extremely misleading and omits many facts that were relevant in the highly charged political atmosphere of the time. We feel this is political activism at its worst – using international guidelines developed for huge multinational companies to target a local small business.

This matter is about one press release sent almost four years ago. Surely this report is completely out of proportion and a gross waste of taxpayer money! 

We believe that we have been used as a pawn in the battle between refugee activists and the Australian Government over offshore processing. We support respectful debate just as we support the right of our client, the Government of Nauru, to publicly counter false and unjustified attacks on their wonderful country. Mercer PR has always acted ethically and when this was brought to our attention in 2015 we recognised the importance of human dignity and acted accordingly. We have not released public statements for this client since that time.

Please login with linkedin to comment

mercer pr

Latest News

Verizon Media Academy Ends For 2021 With Youth Charity Pitch-Off
  • Advertising
  • Media

Verizon Media Academy Ends For 2021 With Youth Charity Pitch-Off

Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]

Industry’s Gamers Unite For UnLtd’s Virtual Rocket League Comp
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Industry’s Gamers Unite For UnLtd’s Virtual Rocket League Comp

Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]

Sam Worthington And Phoebe Tonkin To Star In New Stan Original Film ‘Transfusion’
  • Media

Sam Worthington And Phoebe Tonkin To Star In New Stan Original Film ‘Transfusion’

Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]

COVID-19 Saw Stock Imagery Return To Harmful Gender Stereotypes
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

COVID-19 Saw Stock Imagery Return To Harmful Gender Stereotypes

According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Maddison Connaughton Ends Time As Editor Of The Saturday Paper
  • Media

Maddison Connaughton Ends Time As Editor Of The Saturday Paper

Schwartz Media is congratulating Maddison Connaughton on her three years as editor of The Saturday Paper. Connaughton has decided to finish up her editorship this month. “It’s been an honour to edit the paper,” Connaughton said. “The Saturday Paper is one of the brightest voices in Australian media and I have been happy to see […]

Teenage boy wearing headphones works at desk in his bedroom
  • Media

New Research Names Olivia Rodrigo And BTS The Most Popular Study Music

Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to. After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to. It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ […]

Happy woman drinking tea and waving to someone while having video call over desktop PC in the evening at home.
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Building A Successful Remote Marketing Team

Dayna Stewart is the Business Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Creative Services at The Nudge Group. Here, she discusses the challenges that come with building a successful marketing team when working remotely. Before COVID-19 changed the way businesses work, most marketing teams spent their days together in a meeting room collaborating on the next […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Australia’s The Kid LAROI Joins Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo And More In iHeartRadio Festival Line-Up
  • Media

Australia’s The Kid LAROI Joins Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo And More In iHeartRadio Festival Line-Up

The line-up for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced as the legendary event returns live in Las Vegas in September. This year, the epic two-day lineup for the iHeartRadio Music Festival main stage will feature performances by Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, […]

Shop! ANZ Calls On Industry To Participate In ANZ Shopper And Retail Marketing Industry Survey
  • Marketing

Shop! ANZ Calls On Industry To Participate In ANZ Shopper And Retail Marketing Industry Survey

Shop! ANZ is calling on shopper and retail marketing professionals from all retail related disciplines to participate in the first ANZ Shopper and Retail Marketing Industry Survey in four years. This important research provides a guide of where the retail marketing industry in Australia and New Zealand has come from and what is anticipated to […]