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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Mar. 17) - Australian refugee advocates claim an Iraqi asylum seeker being detained on Nauru died shortly after his refugee application was approved by New Zealand authorities.

The Refugee Action Coalition says 32 year old Akeel Al Shamiri had been held on Nauru for more than a year and a half.

They say he died five days ago, after he was isolated from other asylum seekers whose refugee applications had also been approved.

An Australian official says the Department of Immigration was not aware of his death and will start to make inquiries.

Under the Australian government's "Pacific solution," Nauru and PNG's Manus Island have been used as off-shore immigration detention centers for asylum seekers.

March 17, 2003

Radio Australia: 

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