Advocates: Death Of Iranian Refugee Considered Criminal

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Delayed medical treatment after injuries from protest

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 30, 2016) – Refugee advocates say it was criminal delaying treatment and care needed for an Iranian refugee who died from injuries sustained from setting himself ablaze on Nauru.

The man, Omid, was flown to Australia on Thursday, 24 hours after he set himself alight in apparent protest in front of visiting United Nations officials.

But he died in a Brisbane hospital Friday afternoon.

The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul said a lack of medical supplies and attention at the Nauru hospital, and the delay in arranging for the man to be transported to Australia cost him his life.

He said those responsible must be held to account.

Mr Rintoul called for the Australian government to bring those detained on Papua New Guinea and Nauru to the Australian mainland.

He said like the case of Hamid Khazaie, who died of septicaemia in 2014, a coronial inquiry would likely reveal shocking conditions and political decisions that led to Omid's death.

A vigil was held Friday night at the Nibok the settlement where Omid set fire to himself.

Today will be the 41st day of protest by the asylum seekers in the family camp on Nauru.

Last week, another Iranian refugee reportedly splashed himself with petrol and set himself alight before neighbours intervened with a fire extinguisher.

Meanwhile, the future of asylum seekers sent by Australia to Papua New Guinea's Manus Island remains uncertain, after a PNG court ruling that their detention was illegal.

 

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