5 Manus Asylum Seekers Hospitalized Over Weekend

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Refugees reportedly committed self-harm after arriving Saturday

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 14, 2013) – Three asylum seekers who arrived on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island from Australia at the weekend have been treated at a medical centre after self-harming themselves.

Up to five men self-harmed on Sunday night after arriving on the island on Saturday in a group of 40 male asylum seekers transferred from Darwin.

The Australia-based Refugee Action Coalition’s Ian Rintoul says something needs to be done because this is a serious issue.

"The self-harm incidences added to the anxiety that was already on the island. There have been a number of ongoing protests, letters that have been written by the asylum seekers to the department, attempting to get answers, explaining their situation. And I think it’s a group of about 45 now, Iranian, Afghan, and Iraqi asylum seekers who have declared themselves on hunger strike."

Ian Rintoul says to date, 220 asylum seekers including 30 children have been transferred to Manus Island.

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