Yongah Hill locked down after Afghan asylum seeker dies overnight

Refuge Action Coalition
MEDIA RELEASE

YONGAH HILL LOCKED DOWN AFTER AFGHAN ASYLUM SEEKER DIES OVERNIGHT

Yongah Hill detention centre is in lockdown, and Serco’s riot squad
has been mobilised following the death of a 27 year-old Afghan asylum
seeker at around 9pm Friday night.

While the cause of death is still unclear, the man’s body was taken
from the detention centre by Western Australian police in the early
hours of Saturday morning.

The death has highlighted the neglect and lack of medical care in the
detention centre. The man had asked for medical help for the last two
days, but typically had only been given panadol. There is not even a
nurse on duty after 5pm weekdays.

Other detainees have complained that Serco guards took too long to
call an ambulance; “They watched and let him die,” one asylum seeker
told the Refugee Action Coalition.

It is believed that the man had slashed himself earlier on Friday and
should have been on suicide watch, which would mean regular
observations by  Serco guards.

A disturbance broke out following the death when one of the Serco
guards was heard to say, “one less for us to look after’.

“This is another death in detention that lies at the feet of the
Immigration Minister and the neglect that characterises the detention
regime. The man should never have been in detention. There is no
excuse for keeping someone in detention for three years. If he had
been in the community, he would more likely still be alive,” said Ian
Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713