Australia Immigration Minister Peter Dutton attacks media

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has criticised media reporting about asylum seekers

Peter Dutton, Australia's immigration minister, says he will not "be defamed" by media coverage of the country's offshore detention centres.

Mr Dutton has accused The Guardian and Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) of "trivialising" allegations relating to treatment of asylum seekers.

The Guardian last week published more than 2,000 leaked reports from the immigration centre on Nauru.

These revealed widespread abuse and trauma among asylum seekers.

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"I've spent much of my professional career investigating sexual assaults and assaults against people and arresting people for that. I take these issues very seriously," the former police officer told Sydney radio station 2GB.

"The trouble, frankly, with the approach of The Guardian and the ABC has been to trivialise the very serious issues by trying to promote the 2,100 reports as somehow all ... being serious when they're not."

Mr Dutton said many of the reports described corporal punishment of children by their parents and minor assaults by detainees on other detainees.

He also claimed that non-government organisation Save the Children, which provided counsellors for the centres, was responsible for releasing the cache of "incident reports".

The child advocacy group denied that it leaked the documents.

Australia agreed on Tuesday to close a controversial asylum seeker detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

The Manus Regional Processing Centre, which currently houses 854 men, will be closed by both countries as quickly as possible.

Mr Dutton said the men would not be relocated to Australia.

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