Pakistani minor attempts suicide rather than be returned to Nauru

A 16 year-old Pakistani asylum seeker from Parichinar, has attempted suicide at the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA) centre last night, Tuesday 12 August.

It is understood that the boy, who had been brought to Brisbane form Nauru for medical treatment, severely slashed his arms after being told that he was to be sent back to Nauru today, Wednesday 13 August.

The Refugee Action Coalition was told that the boy appeared to be unconscious when he was taken from the detention by ambulance. His present condition is not known.

“It is an extreme statement that the conditions on Nauru are so bad that a 16 year-old boy is driven to so seriously self-harm rather than be sent back there,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

The young Pakistani arrived at Christmas Island in December 2013 and was taken to Nauru 10 days later.

He was transferred back to Brisbane from Nauru in mid-January and was hospitalised for treatment for kidney stones. He was again sent to Nauru in February 2014.

In June 2014, he was again hospitalised in Brisbane for further treatment for kidney problems. He had been in BITA since early July.

In the early evening of Tuesday 12 August, immigration officers at BITA told him that he would be transferred to Nauru on Wednesday 13 August.

Around 6.00pm Tuesday 12 August, the boy went to the bathroom and severely slashed his arms.

“We believe that he still had kidney stones and complications requiring further medical treatment,” said Rintoul.

“In any case it is obvious that he is not going to get the care he needs on Nauru. The obvious psychological trauma caused by Nauru should be enough reason for the boy to remain in Australia. The physical conditions, the water shortages and the lack of proper medical care alone make the place unfit for any asylum seeker let alone for someone suffering on-going kidney problems.

“It is understood that the boy is waiting for his refugee decision. But if he is found to be a refugee on Nauru, he will face even more difficulties obtaining clean water and medical attention. The recent statement from ‘single male’ refugees in Fly Camp on Nauru describes the impossible conditions for them.” (See link to the statement here.)

“The shocking self-harm at BITA is yet another example of the consequences of the institutional child abuse being perpetrated by the Coalition government in detention in Australia and on Nauru,” said Rintoul.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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