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February 27, 2012


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Asylum seekers supporters are shocked and saddened at the announcement that an Iranian asylum seeker has died in Liverpool hospital in the early hours of Monday morning, 27 February.

It is understood that the man, just 45 years old, suffered a heart attack at the detention centre on Saturday morning and was admitted to hospital.

His wife and two children are believed to still be in Iran.

“This is an absolute tragedy, made worse by the fact that he should never have been in Villawood detention centre,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The government knows that it cannot send Iranian asylum seekers back to Iran and yet they are kept locked up in detention. He arrived in Sydney by plane in April 2010.

“He was a member of Iranian opposition group, involved in the uprisings against the Iranian regime in 2009. He was arrested and jailed. He was a victim of the Iranian regime and now he is a victim of mandatory detention.

“The Iranian community in Sydney had made numerous requests for him to be released into the community, where they could support him. But they had been ignored. Psychiatric reports recommending his release were also been ignored.

“The government has no excuse for keeping Iranian asylum seekers in detention. We call on the government to end the misery of those in detention. The Minister has said that the government would release asylum seekers into community detention or with bridging visas.

“But little is happening particularly for those in long term detention. All the Iranian and stateless asylum seekers, Bidoons and Faili Kurds should be released immediately. We don’t want Ali’s death to be just another statistic of those who have so needlessly died in detention.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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