Former border force boss urges asylum seeker death inquests

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Roman Quaedvlieg says asylum seekers who die in offshore detention centres should have their deaths officially investigated.

Asylum seekers who die in Australia's offshore detention centres should have their deaths formally investigated, former Border Force boss Roman Quaedvlieg says.

He was responding to a coronial investigation into Hamid Khazaei, which found his death from a leg infection contracted on Manus Island was preventable.

"I'll draw heat from many corners for this tweet but: I support the recommendation 'that a statutory process be put in place for an independent judicial inquiry into the deaths of all asylum seekers'," Mr Quaedvlieg said on Twitter on Tuesday.

He said Papua New Guinea and Nauru don't have the judicial capacity to investigate and "factual inquiries are critical".

Mr Khazaei, 24, died at Brisbane's Mater Hospital in September 2014 after a cut on his leg became infected while he was at the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island.

Queensland State Coroner Terry Ryan on Monday said the death was preventable and caused by a series of communication and clinical errors.

Doctors for Refugees president Barri Phatarfod called for urgent government intervention to improve the standard of care.

"Concerningly, since the death of Hamid Khazaei, Australia has continued to put the lives of men, women and children at risk every single day," Dr Phatarfod said.

Hamid Khazaei would be alive if he'd received proper medical care, according to Queensland's state coroner.
Hamid Khazaei would be alive if he'd received proper medical care, according to Queensland's state coroner.
Ian Rintoul/RAC

Mr Ryan urged the government to enforce a new policy putting the clinical needs of detainees first if they need medical transfers that require the approval of immigration authorities.

The coroner said there should also be mandatory inquests for asylum seekers who died in offshore centres, to keep the government accountable.

The Home Affairs Department said the findings were under review and expressed condolences to Mr Khazaei's family.

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