Immigration separates asylum seeker mother and baby again. Close Nauru: it’s unfit for mothers

| May 7, 2014 | Reply

An Iranian woman brought from Nauru to Brisbane in April to give birth to a premature baby is only seeing her new born son for around one and a half hours a day.

Fatema went into premature labour on Nauru and was brought to the Brisbane Royal Children’s Hospital, where she gave birth to a son Hossin, on 23 April, at 32 weeks into term. Hossin weighed only 1.83 kgs when he was born and is now being fed through a tube.

The family (husband and two children, daughter aged 11, and son 6) is now in the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation detention centre (BITA) but the mother and the family are only being taken to see Hossin for around one and half hours a day, in the morning.

“It is a disgrace that this family is being treated in this way. There should be proper arrangements so that Fatema in particular has proper access to see her new baby whenever she wants to. That is the least the Minister can do,” said Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The mistreatment of this family is indicative of the general mistreatment of pregnant women on Nauru and Christmas Island generally. This is the result of the punitive policies that determine the government’s attitude to asylum seekers.

“Fatema should never have been sent to Nauru. The ‘no disadvantage’ principle that Scott Morrison uses to dump pregnant women on Nauru is risking the lives of mothers and babies. A second Rohingya couple was brought to Brisbane in early April for a termination because they could not face the prospect of having a baby on Nauru.

“Nauru is not safe for mothers or babies.

“All the pregnant women and their families should be brought from Nauru immediately instead of waiting until they are to give birth,” said Rintoul.

The “2014 Mothers’ Index Rankings” produced by Save the Children notably did not rate Nauru; but PNG rated 164 out of the 178 countries that were assessed.

On a measure of infant mortality, Nauru, which has an under-five mortality, 40 deaths per 1,000 live births compares with Ghana (39.7 infant deaths under one year per 1000 live births) ranked at 150 of the 170 countries.

“Under Scott Morrison’s ‘no disadvantage’ rule pregnant women are being sent to a country that ranks around 150 out of 178 countries. That is more than enough evidence that Nauru should be scrapped,” Rintoul added.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713

The Refugee Action Coalition will be holding a protest Friday 9.00am at the Law Courts Blg, to coincide with the High Court hearing in Canberra that is challenging the constitutional basis of the declaration of Manus Island and Nauru as off-shore processing centres.

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