Manus Island Refugee Dead After Road Incident
The Rohingya man is at least the seventh refugee death on Manus Island.
The United Nations has again pleaded for the government to better assist refugees on Manus Island, after another refugee died in a road incident in Papua New Guinea.
The man is the seventh to have died on Manus Island since the start of Australia's offshore detention regime there.
The man, said to be of Rohingya background, had been found to be a legitimate refugee. He died in a vehicle incident near the West Haus accommodation facility on Tuesday morning. Iranian journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani reported from Manus that the man had a history of epilepsy and other medical problems, which saw him sent to Australia for treatment.
Boochani tweeted that the man "occasionally used to pass out and needed urgent medical treatment".
A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Home Affairs told ten daily the department was "aware of the death on Manus Island" and referred further enquiries to PNG authorities.
It is at least the seventh refugee death on Manus Island since the start of Australia's offshore detention scheme there, according to Monash University's Australian Border Deaths Database, following the deaths of Reza Barati, Hamid Kehazaei, Kamil Hussain, Faysal Ishak Ahmed, Hamed Shamshiripour, and another 32-year-old Iranian man.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Australia needed to find "immediate solutions" to issues faced by refugees on Manus.
"With the passage of too many years and the withdrawal or reduction of essential services, the already critical situation for refugees most in need continues to deteriorate," UNCHR deputy regional representative Nai Jit Lam said in a statement.
"Australia's responsibility for those who have sought its protection remains unchanged."
“One more reason to evacuate Manus Island and bring all refugees and asylum seekers to Australia,” said Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition.
"He should not have been taken there in 2013, and he should not have been returned there after he was brought to Australia for medical treatment in 2014."
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, another refugee advocacy organisation, said in a statement that the Australian government's policy of offshore detention, as well as not making appropriate arrangements for refugees to resettle in other countries, was a "catastrophic policy failure that has taken yet another life".
Amnesty International refugee researcher Kate Schuetze called on the Australian government to take all refugees off Manus, as well as calling for an independent investigation into the man's death.
"This tragic and avoidable death is the seventh death of a refugee on Manus Island and the tenth in connection with offshore processing centres on both Manus and Nauru. Australia’s reckless and cruel refugee policies continue to endanger lives and must end immediately," she said.
"The Australian Government knowingly sends refugees and asylum seekers to places that are unsafe and unsustainable. Enough is enough, offshore processing must end now before further lives are lost."
"There must be an independent, impartial, prompt and effective investigation into his death, and the other two untimely deaths which happened in August and October last year. The Australian government must bring all refugees and people seeking asylum to Australia immediately, or to a safe third country, and offer them the protection they need and deserve."