Dying refugee on Nauru brought to Australia after public outcry

A 63-year-old Hazara father named Ali is assisted onto a plane. Source: Twitter/@lynnemurphy1

The federal government has brought a dying Afghan refugee on Nauru to Australia for palliative care after intense public outcry.

The Australian government has brought a dying refugee from Nauru to Brisbane for palliative care, buckling in the face of growing outrage.

The refugee, identified in media reports as a 63-year-old Hazara father named Ali, is believed to have only months or weeks to live as he fights aggressive lung cancer.

The Hazara are a persecuted ethnic group from Afghanistan.

More than 2000 doctors, numerous organisations and thousands of Australians petitioned the government to bring Ali to Australia after it was reported the Department of Home Affairs wanted him to be flown to Taiwan for palliative care.

Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone, on Tuesday, said Ali needed to come to Australia because "there is no Hazara community in Taiwan, he has no friends or family there, no-one to translate from his language, and no-one to perform the Shia Muslim rituals after his death".

Dr Bartone reiterated AMA calls for asylum seekers like Ali to be treated "with compassion, respect and dignity".

Ali was quietly brought to Brisbane on Saturday evening for medical treatment, refugee advocacy groups and The Guardian reported.

Refugee Action Coalition Sydney's Ian Rintoul said the government has clearly been forced to back down in the face of "growing public outcry" that was "only going to get worse".

"It has been a shocking experience," he told AAP on Saturday.

"It's even more shocking to realise if he had been able to access proper medical facilities the cancer diagnosis may have been revealed earlier and prevented him reaching this terminal situation."

Mr Rintoul said allowing Ali to die in Australia was the least authorities could do.

"But this one act of compassion can't cover up the thousands of instances of abuse which is the reality of Nauru and Manus Island," he said.

Global condemnation about the treatment of Mexican immigrants under US President Donald Trump and Italy's rejection of a migrant ship would also have factored into the backdown, Mr Rintoul added.

The department has been contacted for comment.

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