Advocates call for Immigration Minister’s resignation after shameful comments about Nauru self-immolation

The Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, has once again shamed himself and disgraced his office with unsubstantiated, ill-considered and offensive claims about refugees.

The Minister is quoted as telling 2GB radio, “Some people have even gone to the extent of self-harming and people have self-immolated in an effort to get to Australia. Certainly some have made false allegations.”

“The Minister has no evidence that any of the self–immolation attempts on Nauru had anything to do with ‘an effort to get to Australia’; None at all. He is seeking to trash the memory of Omid in particular.

“It is a disgraceful attempt to cast aspersions on refugees and to shift attention away from his responsibility for the abuses that continue on Nauru. In light of the revelations and his comments, he should apologise and resign,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Peter Dutton’s comments are reminiscent of those he made during the election campaign asserting that refugees were ‘illiterate and innumerate’. Dutton is rapidly becoming the Donald Trump of the Turnbull government – willing to say anything that might get a headline, buy some votes and promote the government’s anti-refugee policies,” said Rintoul.

“Dutton well knows that the government’s own Moss review confirmed the reports of physical and sexual abuse that were uncovered in 2014. That review also exonerated the Save The Children staff who were the authors of many of the reports.

“Peter Dutton and Malcolm Turnbull know the reports are true.

“There are victims of rape and sexual assault whose mental and physical health has seriously declined because of the assault and medical neglect that have suffered on Nauru and because Dutton turns a blind eye to the truth of what is happening on Nauru.”

“Unlike Don Dale, where Turnbull thinks he can use a Royal Commission to shift the blame onto the NT government or onto NT prison staff, a Royal Commission into the abuses on Nauru could only point to the complicity and the responsibility of the Australian government.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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