Serious concerns for the welfare of Iraqi hunger striker at Yongah Hill

| June 16, 2015 | Reply

Refugee advocates are seriously concerned for the welfare of a 45 year-old Iraqi asylum seeker who has been on a dry hunger strike at Yongah Hill detention centre since Sunday, 14 June.

The Iraqi man who arrived in Australia in October 2012, was released on a bridging visa in December 2012, but has been in detention two years since he was re-detained in June 2013.

There has been no consideration of his protection claim in those two years. Independent psychiatric assessments have shown that detention is having a seriously detrimental affect on his mental health, but the department has not yet considered community detention as an alternative to on-going detention in Yongah Hill.

The man has been on restricted food intake since mid-May, but escalated the hunger strike protest as his indefinite detention dragged on.

The department has turned a deaf ear to many letters from the Australian community and church friends requesting the Minister to release him from detention.

“We are very concerned with his deteriorating health,” said Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition. “As usual, the department is just waiting for him to be collapse before offering any medical or psychiatric support.”

“His fate is in the Minister’s hands. Peter Dutton has wide discretionary powers to offer him a bridging visa.

“The Iraqi man is in a similar situation to the scores of Iranians who were re-detained and are being held in detention although they cannot be sent back to Iran.

“Such pointless detention should be immediately ended.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713.

Category: Press releases

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