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Refugee found dead at Australia camp on PNG

An asylum-seeker being held on one of Australia’s remote Pacific island camps was found dead Monday, rights groups said, in a suspected suicide that has once again thrown Canberra’s treatment of refugees into the spotlight.

Australia sends asylum-seekers who try to enter the country by boat to processing facilities on Nauru and on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, with those found to be refugees barred from resettling in Australia.

Conditions in the camps have been widely criticised by refugee advocates and medical professionals, with reports of widespread abuse, self-harm and mental health problems.

Sydney-based Refugee Action Coalition said Monday that a 32-year-old Tamil man from Sri Lanka took his own life at a hospital Manus Island, where he was being treated for self-harm.

It is the second apparent suicide on the island in the last two months, with an Iranian man found dead in August.

“Once again, such tragedy highlights the acute vulnerability of refugees and asylum-seekers under Australia’s ‘offshore processing’ approach, and the need for proper care,” the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement Monday.

 

Source : AFP

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