Immigration

Asylum seeker reportedly in intensive care in Brisbane

A man is seen outside a dwelling at a refugee camp on Nauru. Source: AFP

Refugee advocates say the latest case of self-immolation proves there is a mental health crisis for those in offshore detention.

A Pakistani asylum seeker is reportedly in intensive care after setting himself on fire on Nauru.

The 36-year-old man known as Jamal is understood to have self-immolated inside his room in the Ewa camp while speaking with a mental health doctor on Friday.

It's believed he is now receiving treatment at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital after being flown by Air Ambulance to Australia yesterday.

The Department of Home Affairs has confirmed the incident with SBS News and says the man is receiving all necessary treatment.

"The Department is aware of a self-harm incident that occurred (on Friday morning) on Nauru," a Department spokesperson said.

Refugees in need of essential medical treatment can be transferred from Nauru to Australia.
Refugees in need of essential medical treatment can be transferred from Nauru to Australia.
AAP

The man was treated at the Republic of Nauru Hospital before the decision was reportedly made to transfer him to Australia.

"The Australian and Nauru Governments will continue to provide support," the Department of Home Affairs said.

Refugee Action Coalition spokesperson Ian Rintoul says the drastic action paints a bleak picture of life in offshore detention.

Protesters gathered at Sydney's Town Hall to demonstrate against offshore detention.
Protesters gathered at Sydney's Town Hall to demonstrate against offshore detention.
LightRocket

"We are extremely concerned for Jamal's welfare," he said,

"Jamal's suicide attempt is yet another wake-up call for the  Australian government. Jamal is another casualty of Australia offshore detention policy. After six years on Nauru, refugees have no secure future. They have lost hope."

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (up to age 25). More information about mental health is available at Beyond Blue.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch