Iranian refugee attempts suicide after USA rejection

| May 8, 2018 | Reply

An Iranian refugee has attempted suicide on Nauru, only hours after she was notified that she had been rejected for resettlement in the US.

Around 11pm Monday (7 May) Nauru time, the middle-aged woman was pulled from the ocean near Ijuw by other refugees. There were distressing scenes as large numbers of Iranians gathered where the woman was pulled from the water, believing they will all be rejected.

Police attended the scene but did not arrest the refugee as is their usual practice in Nauru. She was allowed to return to her camp.

The attempted suicide comes after the first day of refugee appointments with US officials to indicate acceptance of rejection for resettlement to the US. Around 150 refugees have been given appointments with US officials over the next few days.

All Iranians who had appointments Monday – two single women, and a single man – were rejected. One other Bangladeshi single man was also rejected.

The only nationalities accepted were Nepalese, Rohingyan and Pakistani.

The rejections were obviously anticipated by Border Force. A large contingent of emergency response and security personnel have been brought onto the island over the weekend and are now deployed in RPC 1 in preparation for the appointments.

The rejections and the attempted suicide have raised anxieties on the island. Many people are convinced that no Iranians or Somalis will be accepted.

More Iranian and Somalis are scheduled for interviews on Tuesday.

The rejections came on the same day that Home Affairs Peter Dutton admitted that the Coalition does not have any “third countries” other than the United States. Government officials have previously admitted in Senate estimates hearings that up to 500 refugees will not be resettled in the US. Yet Dutton refuses to let refugees be resettled in New Zealand.

“The government has maintained the fiction that there are third countries for years, to hide the fact that the government never had any resettlement possibilities for the refugees they had dumped on Manus and Nauru,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“In 2016, Dutton told journalists, ‘We are keen to get people off to third countries if they can’t return to their country of origin. We are working with a number of countries now.’ It was a lie.

“Dutton’s lies have cost lives – on Manus and Nauru. Children have been robbed of their futures, while Dutton plays political games, in a last ditch attempt to hang onto his seat.”

Meanwhile Nauru is bracing for another day of rejections.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Category: Press releases

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