Several asylum seekers sent overseas by Australia have attempted suicide in recent days amid rising desperation since the nation’s election, advocates say.
Since 2013, Australia has sent asylum seekers arriving by boat to Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The policy has bipartisan support, but many asylum seekers had hoped that a change in government would help them.
The government’s re-election has led to heightened despair, refugees say.
Another refugee, Abdul Aziz Adam, wrote: “We are calling for the [government] to do something for refugees & asylum seekers on Manus/ Nauru.”
The Labor opposition had promised to accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 refugees from the islands if they won government last Saturday.
Currently, refugees in PNG and Nauru can either choose to resettle in those nations, apply for a limited number of places in the US, or return to their home country.
What is known about the self-harm cases?
Mr Boochani and other refugee groups told the BBC that at least 12 people had attempted self-harm in PNG since Saturday.
- Australia asylum: Why is it controversial?
- Total evacuation of Nauru refugees urged
Ian Rintoul, from the group Refugee Action Coalition, said at least five people had been taken to hospital.
The Australian government did not directly address the reports, but said in a statement that “it takes seriously its role in supporting the governments of PNG and Nauru to ensure individuals in PNG and Nauru are provided with a range of health, welfare and support services arrangements”.
‘Pinned hopes on Labor’
The election victory for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government defied months of opinion polling which had pointed to a probable Labor win.
“Rightly or wrongly, many of the refugees had really pinned their hopes on a Labor victory meaning a change to their situation,” Elaine Pearson, the Australian director of Human Rights Watch, told the BBC.
- Australia coalition wins outright majority
She said the result had exacerbated feelings of hopelessness on the islands, where more than 80% of asylum seekers are reported to suffer from mental health problems.
At least 12 asylum seekers and refugees have died on the islands since 2013.
In February, Labor and crossbench MPs secured enough votes to pass a law which makes it easier for sick refugees to get treatment in Australia.
*This section only applies to third party rss feed users*
— Kashmir Broadcasting Corporation allows the use of RSS Feeds, but with our content usage we expect that credit is given, but in the event that it is not. This content policy annotation will act as a credit towards KBC (Kashmir Broadcasting Corporation) Please visit kbcchannel.tv for more news and articles — we can not justify what is written on a third party site, as the content can be altered to their specification, if something is not authentic as it should be please visit kbcchannel.tv and look for the original content. if it is no longer there then it can no longer be associated with Kashmir Broadcasting Corporation and if the content on a third party site has been altered to the point of offence or deemed inappropriate please report it to KBC via email: email@example.com or fill the submission form on kbc’s website: https://www.kbcchannel.tv/report-form/ with the details of the site and article heading — Thank You
Website — https://www.kbcchannel.tv/
FaceBook — https://www.facebook.com/kbcchanneltv
Twitter — https://twitter.com/kbcchanneltv
YouTube — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV6TFLe3dGbavSYilnC2paQ
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/kbcchanneltv/