A young Somali woman has set herself alight in an Australian Detention centre on the Island of Nauru. The incident has happened days after another Iranian man set himself alight protesting against his treatment on Nauru.
Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has informed that the asylum seeker Hodan Yasin is in a critical condition. She was flown to Brisbane and admitted into Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
The incident has triggered a debate on social media on Australia’s controversial immigration policy with the hashtag #Only19 which is the claimed age of Yasin. People are uploading and tweeting photos of themselves when they were 19.
Peter Dutton admitted that there had been a rise in cases where people are self-harming in detention camps. However, he also criticised the advocates who according to him were encouraging some of these people to behave in certain atrocious ways, reported Independent.
He commented, “The recent behaviours in Nauru are not protests against living conditions. They aren’t protests against health care, they aren’t protests against the lack of financial support.”
Dutton also pointed that the advocates were giving hope to these asylum seekers that they would be able to settle down in Australia.
The Government argued that the strict measures they have taken, which includes turning back boats, had prevented drowning incidents in the sea, Aljazeera reported.
Reportedly, the Iranian refugee told UN officials minutes before he alighted himself, “This is how tired we are, this action will prove how exhausted we are. I cannot take it anymore.”
According to CNN, critics also echoed the sentiments of the asylum seekers and said that these kinds of extreme steps taken by the asylum seekers reflect their desperation under Australia’s controversial refugee policy.
These asylum seekers, who come to Australia undertaking perilous sea journey are told that they will never be able to settle in the country and they were sent to remote processing centres. The refugees leave in detention centres for months and sometimes for years. The UN body for refugees also blamed Australian detention policies for such incidents.
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Australia said in a statement, “These people have already been through a great deal. Many have fled war and persecution, some have already suffered trauma. The consensus among medical experts is that conditions of detention and offshore processing do immense damage to physical and mental health.”
Australian opposition Immigration Minister Richard Marles proposed that the country should secure a viable third-country to sort out the refugee crisis.