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August 7, 2011

17 YEAR OLD ASYLUM SEEKER ATTEMPTS SUICIDE AHEAD OF MALAYSIA DEPORTATION

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

A 17 year-old female asylum-seeker due to be deported to Malaysia has attempted suicide in Christmas Island’s Bravo compound.

Reports from Christmas Island indicate that the girl made the attempt around 1pm Christmas Island time (4pm AEST) while in the complex’s medical centre, where she had been taken as a result of her participation in the hunger strike and protest by asylum seekers facing deportation to Malaysia.

The girl is understood to have poisoned herself by drinking the contents of medicine and other bottles in the medical centre. She is now in hospital, along with her 7 year-old brother.

“If we needed any further confirmation of the brutality of the Malaysia swap this is it,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “Julia Gillard’s willingness to trash the Refugee Convention and people trade with Malaysia is destroying is asylum seekers’ lives.”

“Bowen and Gillard continue to resort to forced deportation of vulnerable people will inevitable mean more of the tragic kinds of event we saw this afternoon. The government needs to stop playing with human lives and meet its human rights obligations under international law.”

“This afternoon’s events make a mockery of the government’s previous denial that asylum seekers weren’t even protesting against the deportations. It’s time for Bowen and Gillard to end the Christmas Island cover-up and start telling the public the truth about asylum seekers,” said Rintoul.

“We welcome the High Court’s temporary injunction of the deportation of asylum seekers under the Malaysia Agreement. But that temporary stay must be become permanent.

“This suicide attempt shows the vicious and inexcusable reality of what Australia is doing. The Malaysia swap should be abandoned immediately as the first step towards ending off-shore processing and mandatory detention.”

The Refugee Action Coalition has called an emergency protest, Monday 8 August, 12.30, at Sydney’s Immigration offices, 26 Lee Street, City.

For more information, contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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