Immigration

Bangladeshi asylum seeker dies by suicide at a Lakemba mosque

Mohammad Mohsin died by suicide on Sunday. Source: Supplied

An asylum seeker who was appealing a decision to reject his application for protection has died by suicide at a Lakemba mosque.

A Bangladeshi asylum seeker, who had become homeless, died by suicide at a Lakemba mosque on Sunday. 

Mohammad Mohsin arrived in Australia by boat to seek asylum in 2013 and had been living on a bridging visa without the right to work for most of that time.

Delays in processing the protection applications from the tens of thousands of asylum seekers who arrived by boat prior to 2013 meant that Mr Mohsin's claim was only recently refused. 

He had lodged an appeal with the Federal Circuit Court. 

Friend Mohammed Ahamed said Mr Mohsin had stayed with him six months ago as he was struggling financially. 

"That's the main reason he struggled with spending his life in Australia," he said. 

"We couldn't help him. We just always gave him hope and told him maybe one day Australian immigration was going to understand his situation."

Mr Ahamed said Mr Mohsin left his house because he felt guilty for relying so heavily on his friends for support. 

He also feared to return to Bangladesh. 

The Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) said there are thousands of asylum seekers living in limbo on bridging visas in the community trying to survive with the support of friends or their own community members.

"Mohammad's death is yet another tragedy that reveals the government's failed asylum process. His death has caused a great deal of distress throughout the refugee community," RAC spokesperson Ian Rintoul said. 

In July, the Human Rights Commission released a report about the 30,000 asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat before 2013 and have been living on temporary visas with limited access to support services and visa uncertainty. 

In its report, the commission found these asylum seekers were susceptible to homelessness and many lived in poverty or destitution. 

Critics have blasted "the government's failed asylum process".
Critics have blasted "the government's failed asylum process".
AAP

The government has recently granted most people in the so-called legacy the right to work, while at the same time reducing other support payments. 

In response to the report, the Home Affairs Department said those on temporary visas with work rights were expected to support themselves. 

Those that have had their protection claim refused but are challenging the decision, are not eligible for support payments. 

"It is government policy that individuals who are found not to engage Australia’s protection obligations are expected to depart Australia," the department’s response stated in July.

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline crisis support on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25).

More information is available at Beyond Blue.org.au and lifeline.org.au.

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