Refugee in fire drama

Woman sets her­self on fire at camp

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

A So­mali refugee was crit­i­cally in­jured when she set her­self on fire at an Aus­tralian im­mi­gra­tion camp on the Pa­cific is­land na­tion of Nauru three days af­ter an Ira­nian refugee died of in­juries sus­tained in a sim­i­lar ap­par­ent protest, of­fi­cials said.

The 21-year-old woman was flown 4,500km from Nauru to the Aus­tralian city of Bris­bane yes­ter­day af­ter set­ting her­self on fire on Mon­day, the Nauru and Aus­tralia gov­ern­ments said.

A 23-year-old man died in the same Royal Bris­bane Hos­pi­tal on Fri­day af­ter set­ting him­self alight two days ear­lier in an ap­par­ent protest over Aus­tralia’s asy­lum seeker poli­cies.

His ac­tions were a protest in­tended to co­in­cide with a visit to the is­land by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the UN refugee agency, Nauru’s gov­ern­ment said.

“Both pa­tients have re­ceived the ut­most care, treat­ment and con­sid­er­a­tion both in Nauru and in Aus­tralia,” Aus­tralian Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton said.

Refugee Ac­tion Coali­tion spokesman Ian Rin­toul said that in Novem­ber the woman had suf­fered se­ri­ous head in­juries on Nauru and had been flown to Bris­bane for treat­ment.

She was among three refugees who were taken from a Bris­bane im­mi­gra­tion de­ten­tion cen­tre where she was re­cu­per­at­ing last Wed­nes­day and flown back to Nauru, Rin­toul said. “She was on 24-hour men­tal health watch be­cause of a num­ber of at­tempts at sui­cide in­side the Bris­bane Im­mi­gra­tion Tran­sit Ac­com­mo­da­tion,” said Rin­toul. “It raises par­tic­u­lar ques­tions about the duty of care.”

Aus­tralia re­fuses to ac­cept asy­lum seek­ers who try to reach its shores by boat and pays Nauru and Pa­pua New Guinea to hold them in im­mi­gra­tion camps in­stead.

The pol­icy has faced fresh crit­i­cism in the wake of the man’s death and a court de­ci­sion last week that dubbed Aus­tralia’s de­ten­tion of asy­lum seek­ers on Pa­pua New Guinea’s Manus Is­land as un­con­sti­tu­tional.

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