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July 1, 2011

DARWIN ASYLUM SEEKER ATTEMPTS SUICIDE; DETAINEES CALL FOR MEDIA ACCESS

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

One of the young Afghan roof-top protesters attempted suicide in the Darwin detention centre last night only hours after a mass hunger strike was called off.

The asylum seeker was cut down by other asylum seekers who found him hanging in one of the centre’s compounds. There is extreme concern for the welfare of the young man, whose present condition is unknown.

Another asylum seeker who collapsed at the scene of the attempted suicide was taken to hospital but has now been returned to the detention centre.

The hunger strike in Darwin was called off last might after a meeting with immigration department officers around 5pm agreed to provide individual updates information about their cases within one week.

The asylum seekers have been waiting for up to 22 months for answers, either for security clearances or from their merits review hearing.

“Our families think we are dead,” one Darwin asylum seeker told the Refugee Action Coalition, “We are treated as animals. We want the media to come to see what is happening to us in this human cage.”

“Self harm and suicide attempts are daily events in Australia’s detention centres. It is only a matter of time until another detainees dies in detention,” said Ian Rintoul.

“It is clear from the revelations in the coroners’ inquiry into the suicide of Josesh Raulini at Villawood last year, that neither Serco nor the Immigration Department takes the issue of suicide seriously. Suicide has become an issue of collateral damage, inflicted by mandatory detention.

“The attempted suicide in Darwin is another warning and one more reason that the system of mandatory detention has to end,” said Rintoul.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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