A female refugee from Somalia has set herself on fire at the Australian detention centre on the pacific island of Nauru after she was forced to return to the island almost a week ago.
The refugee advocates identified the woman as Hodan Yasin who is 21 years old. Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton updated the public on her status and said she was in a critical condition at the moment. The incident occurred only days after Omid, a 23-year-old man, died of severe injuries following a similar act. The man set himself alight and in the presence of the United Nations officials. He took his last breath on Sunday in an Aussie hospital.
The probable cause of why refugees are harming themselves occurred following the order from the Australian immigration departments to shift the asylum seekers to other mainland facilities. The Aussie authorities told the refugees they won’t be allowed to resettle in their nation and would be transferred to Nauru or to Papua New Guinea. The declining mental status of the detained at the offshore detention centres and Australia’s sudden move to not follow its offshore processing policy have also contributed to the psychological distress in the lives of the refugees, pushing them to opt for such deadly alternatives.
Omid’s widow told The Guardian on Monday that she has been moved to a Brisbane hotel by authorities and has been disallowed to contact a lawyer. Critics stated that it is the mental condition of the refugees that are making them behave this way.
Yasin was one of the three detainees who were forcefully returned to Nauru a week ago. She was sent back by Border Force officers from the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation on Tuesday morning. CNN reported the Nauru government’s raising concern over the detainees’ alarming behaviour. It said that they were attempting to influence or stop Aussie immigration policies by engaging in such acts.
Dutton, on the other hand, blames and criticised refugee advocates for “encouraging” the detainees to engage in such acts to put pressure on the government to bring them back to Australia.