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April 22, 2012


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

An Iranian asylum seeker in Darwin’s notorious Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) has attempted suicide around 10.30pm Friday, Darwin time.

The man was cut down by Serco staff and has been taken to hospital. He was breathing went he was cut down, but his present condition in not known. It is understood that he has been in detention for around 20 months.

NIDC has had the worst rates of self harm and attempted suicide across the whole detention regime.

The attempted suicide comes only a day after Serco tactical response group broke up a roof-top protest at NIDC. The four protesters taken off the roof are now in the high security isolation section of the detention centre.

It is also only a day since a suicide attempt in the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accomodation centre by a refugee in detention for almost three years.

“There is no excuse for the damage that long term detention is inflicting on asylum seekers and refugees. The Minister has stated that vulnerable asylum seekers would have priority to be released on bridging visas or community detention. But it is obvious that the Minister is prioritising mandatory detention which day by day is taking a terrible toll on the mental health of asylum seekers.

“The roof-top protesters were right to protest. It’s long past time for the Minister to release all those in NIDC,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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