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How Australia’s stopping-the-boats policy has a human cost…

Trigger warning : abuse, self-immolation,suicide attempt

The most basic of Human Rights is to be safe, have shelter, and food. Especially after a refugee has chosen, at great pain, to flee their war-ravaged birthplace and has then arrived on the doorstep of a 1st-world nation: Australia. A country that is a signatory to the international convention on the rights of Refugees.

During May 2016, 30-year old Iranian Fatima, a mother and wife, tried to burn herself to death.

She locked herself in her Nauru quarters and set it alight. Guards averted her death. However her husband Shirdel says Fatima is now in an even more fragile state of mind because the suicide attempt failed. She has previously self-harmed.

Husband Shirdel says Fatima is in despair over indefinite detention. She says, “I’m getting tired of this life. I don’t want to continue this life. I want to kill myself.”

Shirdel just wants Fatima back. “Please give me my wife back.’

They arrived at Christmas Island in 2013 then 6 months later were transferred to Nauru.

An Immigration spokewoman  also confirmed reports that Shirdel and Fatima’s son lost a tooth after being allegedly assaulted by guards a few months after landing in Nauru.

Screening at the recent Human Rights Film Festival, a documentary Chasing Asylum reveals the stark reality of indefinite detention at Nauru. It has been advertised as  “what the Australian Government doesn’t want you to see”. It’s producer/director Eve Orner says,“I really hope that Chasing Asylum informs and engages Australians to think more openly about the individual experiences of displaced people seeking a safer life.”

“Right now, there are 60 million displaced people in the world – that’s one in every 122 humans that are either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. Chasing Asylum is an important documentary that brings to light the human impact of this global issue.”

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