3 May 2016

Second refugee in a week self-immolates on Nauru

12:46 pm on 3 May 2016

A refugee being held in Australia's detention centre on Nauru has set herself alight in the second such incident in less than a week.

Australians protest against the Nauru detention centre

Australians protest against the Nauru detention centre Photo: AFP

The Nauru government says the 21-year-old Somali woman is in a critical condition in the island's hospital, where she is being treated by Australian doctors.

It says it has requested an emergency medical evacuation to Australia.

The government said it was "distressed that refugees are attempting such dreadful acts in order to attempt to influence the Australian Government's immigration policies."

An Australian advocacy group, the Refugee Action Coalition, said the woman had been sent to Australia after suffering a head injury last November and was returned to Nauru last Wednesday.

The incident comes less than a week after a 23-year-old Iranian man who set himself on fire in front of visiting United Nations officials died in a Brisbane hospital.