Manus refugee suicides in Brisbane, offshore detention claims another victim

A 32-year-old mentally-distressed Afghan refugee, Sayed Mirwais Rohani, has committed suicide in Brisbane.  The Afghan doctor jumped to his death from the 22nd floor of a Brisbane hotel on Tuesday, 15 October.

Mirwais is the eighth Manus refugee death.

Mirwais was brought to Australia from Manus Island in 2017, as his mental health badly deteriorated following his detention on Manus Island in September 2013. He had been living in community detention in Brisbane for the last year.

The tragedy is shocking tale of deliberate abuse and neglect.

Mirwais had a medical degree from a Chinese university which is recognised by Australia. He completed his degree in English and spoke six languages. He offered to work in the Lorengau hospital for free and was moved out of the Lombrum detention centre on that basis. Despite being moved he was not allowed to work in the hospital.

As his mental health declined he was attacked, beaten and imprisoned.

His father, a refugee living in Britain, travelled to Manus Island in 2016 in an effort to have him released so Mirwais could join his parents in Britain. Peter Dutton refused the request on the basis that Mirwais was over 18.

There was a second attempt to try to get Mirwais to join his family in Britain after he was moved to Australia. That attempt also stalled with Peter Dutton and the Department of Home Affairs. His father visited Mirwais again in 2018.

 “Manus Island, offshore detention and Peter Dutton are responsible for yet another refugee death,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “In 2010, Australian of the Year, Patrick McGorry, labelled detention centres ‘factories of mental illness’. Mirwais death is yet more evidence of the damage that offshore detention is doing. It’s time offshore detention was ended.”

 For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713