Iranian asylum-seeker rehospitalized on day 47 of hunger strike

Omid Sorousheh, the 35 year-old Iranian asylum seeker on Nauru, was rehospitalized at 10.00 o’clock this morning on day 47 of his hunger-strike.

“He is very weak. He cannot sleep or move properly,” the Refuge Action Coalition has been told by another asylum seeker who came to Australia from Indonesia on the same boat as Omid.

Four other hunger-strikers yesterday collapsed and were were given medical treatment in the camp.

Nineteen asylum-seekers are currently on hunger-strike. Five of them have also been refusing water.

“We cannot understand why the government is doing nothing for us,” the asylum seekers told the Refugee Action Coalition. “This situation is bad for humans.”

The asylum seekers have reiterated their opposition to being processed offshore. “We don’t want to be in Nauru,” they said. “The Australian government must do the interviews.”

“This cannot go any further. It is only a matter of time before Chris Bowen becomes responsible for Omid’s death,” said Nick Riemer from the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The government has abandoned people in unbearable conditions on Nauru. Australia’s experience in the Howard years shows that it was inevitable that we would see deaths as a direct result of offshore-processing. Asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus must be brought back to Australia immediately and released into the community with appropriate levels of support while their refugee status is determined. This is the only option that will prevent people dying. The government must refuse to sacrifice asylum seekers’ lives in its irrational and negligent race to outdo the Coalition in cruelty.”

More information: Nick Riemer 0435 533 027; Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713