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July 29, 2011


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Refugee advocates have welcomed the Ombudsman’s inquiry into self-harm, but a second attempted suicide in Darwin detention last night has highlighted the desperate situation, and the need for urgent action by the government.

An Afghan man self-harmed around 9pm Thursday night and suffered a heart attack. He was taken to hospital.

Around 2.00am Friday morning, a Tamil asylum seeker, attempted to hang himself with a bed sheet. He was found by another Afghan asylum seeker who managed to hold him up until guards arrived to cut the man down.

He was taken to hospital within 10 minutes of the incident, but his present condition is unknown.

“We have been told that this man has been waiting around 18 months for a security clearance. The government is directly responsible for this man. These guys were told in March, after the Christmas Island protests that their security clearances would be finalised by the end of April, “ said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Asylum seekers can’t afford to wait for the end of the Ombudsman’s inquiry. All those found to be refugees waiting for security clearances should be immediately released.”


Information from inside the Darwin detention centre is that an Afghan man attempted suicide and was taken to hospital around 9pm Thursday night. No other details are currently available.

Since the forcible ending of the roof top protest on Wednesday, tensions have remained high. The issue of long term detention, and the delays in processing are unresolved.

People from the roof-top protest are being kept in South I and are not being allowed to visit their friends in the North 1 compound which was the scene of the roof-top protest.

“How ironic that there should be an attempted suicide on the night of the Ombudsman’s announcement of an investigation into self-harm,” said Ian Rintoul.

“But it does show why an investigation is so sorely needed and why urgent action is needed from the government. Self-harm and attempted suicide has become a daily occurrence in almost every detention centre.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275

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