KURDISH REFUGEE DEAD ON CHRISTMAS ISLAND : ANOTHER VICTIM OF LONG TERM DETENTION

> MEDIA ALERT
>
> KURDISH REFUGEE DEAD ON CHRISTMAS ISLAND : ANOTHER VICTIM OF LONG TERM DETENTION
>
> It is believed that an Iranian Kurdish refugee, Fazel Chegeni, has
> died on Christmas Island.
>
> The man in his early 30s, escaped from the North West Point detention
> centre 48 hours ago – on Friday 6 November. Detainees had reported
> that Fazel was missing on Friday.
>
> Detainees in the centre report that police brought the man’s body to
> the detention centre around 9.00am Christmas Island time, this
> morning, Sunday 8 November.
>
> The circumstances of his death are not known. A resident was woken
> around 4.00am this morning at a house in the Settlement area and the
> man disappeared down a track known as “The Incline”. But it is not
> known whether this incident is related to Fazel at all.
>
> Fazel arrived in Australian in 2010. He had been found to be a refugee
> when he was in Curtin detention centre, around two and half years ago.
> He was unfairly charged with assault following a fight between
> detainees at the detention centre. He was later released into the
> community in Melbourne for a few months but was re-detained in
> Melbourne even though he was given a good behaviour bond for the
> assault charge.
>
> He had been in Christmas Island detention for around 10 weeks after
> being transferred from Wickham Point, Darwin. He had recently been
> invited by the Minister to make another protection visa application.
>
> Christmas Island detention centre has been locked down since this morning.
>
> At a meeting late this afternoon, detainees were told that Fazel’s
> body was found ‘in the jungle’ and that he had been dead ‘for some
> time’.
>
> Like so many others, Fazel, was suffering the effects of long-term,
> arbitrary detention. Fazel has attempted suicide when he was in
> Melbourne; again when he was in Brisbane, and then again in Wickham
> Point not long before he was transferred to Christmas Island.
>
> He had told other detainees on Christmas Island that he could no
> longer stand being in detention and just wanted ‘to go outside’.
>
> “This is another needless detention death,” said Ian Rintoul,
> spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “This time of a refugee
> who should never have been in detention. His mental health problems
> were well known. Detention could only exacerbate those problems.
>
> “The delay in processing and releasing him is inexcusable. He is a
> victim of the punitive regime detention regime that cares nothing for
> the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees.”
>
> For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713