MEDIA RELEASE | REFUGEE HUSBAND SAYS NAURU FIRE WAS SUICIDE ATTEMPT

Refugee Action Coalition

 MEDIA RELEASE

REFUGEE HUSBAND SAYS NAURU FIRE WAS SUICIDE ATTEMPT

The fire that gutted the unit in the Nauru refugee camp, Anuijo, on Monday, May 23, was part of a suicide attempt, according the husband of the woman who was rescued from the burning unit.  (Photos and videos of the first available on request.)

The Iranian woman was given oxygen at the Nauru hospital after being rescued from the unit. He husband and son were not at home when the room was engulfed in flames.

The family, including their 5 year-old son, is now being held, under surveillance in OPC1.

A message from the husband of the 30 year-old Iranian woman says that his wife has suffered depression ‘for a long time,’ and had attempted suicide on other occasions.

She had told medical service providers, IHMS that she intended to kill herself, “But no-one paid any attention,” he said.

Although the message does not say how the fire was set, her husband says, “Today she locked herself inside that room, and tried to commit suicide.” The husband’s account fits with the fact that security guards had to break into the room to rescue the woman.

The suicide attempt is the latest in a series of suicides and serious attempted suicides on Nauru as despair has taken hold of the population of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru.

Today, Wednesday, 25 May, will make the 67th day of protest at the Nauru’s family compound, RPC 3, and the 28th of protest at the single men’s camp, OPC2.

The Nauruan government’s growing practise of criminalising suicide by arresting and charging already vulnerable people for attempting suicide is only adding to the anguish and disquiet on Nauru.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713