Crisis on Nauru: attempted suicide and more protests

| February 26, 2013 | Reply

An Iranian asylum seeker in the detention camp on Nauru attempted to hang himself yesterday (Monday, 25 February) at around 3.30pm. He was found and assisted by other asylum seekers and has now been returned to the camp.

Meanwhile up to nine asylum seekers remain with their lips stitched and more than 15 Iranian asylum seekers remain on hunger strike.

There will another protest inside the camp this afternoon at 5pm Nauru time. Around 150 asylum seekers of all nationalities have been joining the daily protests since the hunger strike began.

The Refugee Action Coalition has condemned Julia Gillard’s ill-informed comments regarding the lip-stitching and hunger strike protests on Nauru.

“If the asylum seekers on Nauru were being treated like all the other asylum seekers who have arrived since 13 August 2012, they wouldn’t be on Nauru. The government is selectively victimising a small number of asylum seekers to send to Nauru and Manus Island,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Julia Gillard said that the only thing that happens is that there is a ‘proper assessment of whether or not they are genuine refugees,’ ” but there is no system for assessing asylum seekers on Nauru.

“They are not on hunger strike to change an outcome; they are on hunger strike because there is not even a process to get an outcome. The immigration department cannot tell them when their claims will start to be heard.

“The collapse of the government on Nauru has heightened concerns among the asylum seekers that there will ever be a system put in place. The Australian government has simply dumped them on a remote Pacific Island with no intention of hearing their claims and with no hope for the future or being released from the island,” said Ian Rintoul.

“The collapse of the Nauru government has revealed just how shonky Gillard’s Pacific Solution really is. The government should end the farce and bring all the asylum seekers to the Australian mainland where at least there is some system for assessing asylum claims.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713


Category: Press releases

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