MEDIA RELEASE 28/8 | TAMIL ASYLUM SEEKER SUICIDES IN BRISBANE

A 45 year-old Tamil asylum seeker has died in Brisbane after a suicide attempt at the Logan hospital last Friday (24 August).

The Tamil man received an initial rejection of his protection application several weeks ago, and fell into a deep depression.

He was admitted to Logan hospital after his friends became concerned for his welfare after he stopped eating.

On Friday 24 August, he attempted suicide in the Logan hospital and was subsequently found to be brain dead.

His life support was turned off on Sunday 26 August.

He leaves behind a wife and four children in Sri Lanka.

The Tamil asylum seeker arrived in Australia by boat in 2012 and was among the first group of asylum seekers sent to Nauru by the Labor government under Julia Gillard.

These asylum seekers were brought back to Australia in 2014 in return for agreeing that their asylum claims (that were underway in Nauru) would be re-assessed in Australia. Most of them have been kept waiting for years and have only allowed to make their claim in the last twelve months.

“This Tamil asylum seeker is another casualty of deliberately harsh policies to break people who make asylum claims. They are denied natural justice and have been subjected to unacceptable delays, and denied legal help. More asylum seekers in the community are destitute because the government has cut off all support for them. Now, the government’s policies have taken another life,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The responsibility lies with the government and new Minister, David Coleman. It is inevitable that there will more casualties both on shore and offshore unless the policy changes.  Business as usual is not an option.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713