[ 19. Mar 2011 ]

Young Hazari man hangs himself in Qld detention centre

End detention now! Refugees welcome here

A 20 year old man was found dead at the RAAF Scherger detention centre near Weipa, Australia on the 16th of March 2011.


According to refugee advocates, the young man of Hazari origin from Afghanistan has recently had his refugee application rejected and was very depressed.

The Australian Government has over recent months taken a much harder line on Hazari's claiming that the situation for them has improved in Afghanistan. This is refuted by the Hazari community in Australia and the record number of civilian and military deaths in Afghanistan in 2010 would suggest otherwise. The suicide comes as a wave of self-harm incidents and protests across Australia's detention centres which now house over 6000 people including 1000 children. On Christmas Island these protests have been met with a shocking :: show of force including tear gas and rubber bullets.

In the call for a demonstration in Melbourne on 21. March 2011 against mandatory detention and to end the offshore processing regime the violance against migrants and refugees is crisiced:

"Over the past week, we have witnessed escalating violence against asylum seekers in Immigration Detention. Police have used :: tear gas on protesting detainees at Christmas Island; at Curtin an Afghan refugee awaiting his security clearance was :: beaten by 6 Serco guards as he tried to speak to his case manager; a young Afghan man was found dead in Scherger on Thursday night, suspected of having taken his own life; as this is written..., a young Iraqi, whose case manager just last week asked him where he would like to go upon his release was refused security clearance. If a third country does not take him, he faces indefinite detention - his supporters are heading to the detention centre as he is threatening suicide and his friends are desperate for help.

Monday's action is a vigil to mourn the passing of the young Hazara man found dead at Scherger, and also a protest against the continuing practice of offshore detention, and the absurdity and secrecy surrounding security clearances.

Spread the word, bring your friends, and your banners."

Further protests against the racist mandatory detention system :: Melbourne rally 2nd April, :: Sydney Palm Sunday Rally, :: Curtin Easter Convergence.

Below is an article from :: The Australian which extensively quotes Pamela Curr from the ASRC.

Afghan who hanged himself was 'under pressure to go back'

An Afghan asylum-seeker who apparently hanged himself with a bedsheet at a remote detention centre on Cape York had recently had his refugee application rejected, refugee advocates say.

Miqdad Hussain, 20, from the Hazara ethnic minority, was found dead at Scherger detention centre near Weipa, 2400km north of Brisbane, on Thursday night.

Resuscitation attempts failed.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship confirmed the man had arrived by boat, but would not release any further details about his identity or confirm how he had died, until his family had been informed.

Pamela Curr, campaign co-ordinator at the Melbourne-based Asylum-Seeker Resource Centre, said she had spoken with several of the young man's fellow detainees via Facebook, who had confirmed his identity.

Ms Curr said the man was unmarried and had no children, but was responsible for feeding his extended family before he fled Afghanistan. "He was depressed because of all the bad news that he was surrounded by," Ms Curr said.

One of his fellow detainees told Ms Curr via Facebook that: "Scherger is mournful tonight. Moaning and wailing; voice is raised to the sky".

Another told Ms Curr he was "really scared". "Sometimes I feel like my heart will stop, and my breath is tight," she said the man told her."

There are 294 people held at the temporary detention centre, which began housing asylum-seekers last October.

At the beginning of this month, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced the former air force base would be used as detention accommodation for another year. The facility was due to close in the middle of this year.

Former refugee Hassan Varasi, spokesman for the Hazara Foundation of South Australia, said one of Hussain's fellow detainees had contacted him about the man's suicide.

"This Afghan man's application was recently rejected and (he) was under constant pressure from (the) immigration department to go back to Afghanistan," Mr Varasi, who was detained in Villawood detention centre in the early 2000s, said. "He has decided to kill himself by hanging with a bed sheet in his room.

"This person, he was not going to go back to Afghanistan alive."

Mr Varasi said about 22 Afghan Hazara men at Scherger had had their applications rejected in recent months.

He said he was worried more detainees would attempt to harm themselves.

"My concern is that there's many other people in the same circumstance," Mr Varasi said.

"Many of them are concerned if they go back to Afghanistan they will be killed."

Hassan Ghulam, spokesman for the Australian Hazara Council, said he would appeal to Mr Bowen to allow a Hazara delegation to visit the detainees at Scherger.

"We have warned Immigration many times that these people are suffering from all sorts of trauma," Mr Ghulam said.

Queensland Police and the coroner are investigating the man's death.

Source ::, 19. Mar 2011.