4 May 2016

Refugee who set herself on fire on Nauru in dire condition

6:28 am on 4 May 2016

A Somali refugee is reported to be in a dire situation in a Brisbane hospital after setting herself alight on Nauru.

21 year old Hodan Yasin was transferred to Brisbane on Tuesday morning after suffering critical injuries from self-inflicted burns a day earlier.

Her actions came less than a week after an Iranian man Omid Masoumali also set himself alight on Nauru before dying in Royal Brisbane Hospital on Friday.

The Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told the federal parliament yesterday afternoon that Ms Yasin remained in a critical condition.

He said health staff numbers, including mental health officers, were being bolstered on Nauru.

Meanwhile the United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR) has warned the existing policy of offshore processing and prolonged detention was harmful and untenable.

Somali refugee Hodan Yasin who set herself on fire on Nauru

Somali refugee Hodan Yasin who set herself on fire on Nauru Photo: Facebook Refugee Action Coalition

A refugee advocate Ian Rintoul says comments by the Australian Immigration Minister risk more self harm attempts by asylum seekers on Nauru.

Earlier Mr Dutton, said advocates were encouraging the behaviour.

Mr Rintoul claimed Mr Dutton lacked evidence that this was the case, saying the minister was trying to deflect what is the responsibility of the government onto refugee advocates.

"In fact a lot of people spend a lot of time trying to reassure people, trying to keep things calm, trying to provide people with some hope when that's the very thing that's being deprived of them," Mr Rintoul said.

He urged the Minister to explain why the refugee who was on a 24-hour suicide watch in Australia was returned to Nauru and allowed to leave the centre there to set herself on fire.

And Mr Dutton yesterday announced the closure of four detention faclities over the next two years.

Mr Dutton's statement said once those four are closed, the current Australian government will have shut 17 detention facilities.

Protest on Nauru

Protest on Nauru Photo: supplied Refugee Action Coalition