2 Oct 2017

Manus Island detainee found dead

5:45 pm on 2 October 2017

A refugee detained by Australia on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island has reportedly taken his own life.

The Manus Island detention centre.

The Manus Island detention centre. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

The Refugee Action Coalition said the 32-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil was found dead outside the Lorengau hospital kitchen early this morning.

It said the man had been sent to the hospital three days ago after committing an act of self harm at the East Lorengau Transit Centre.

Police on Manus Island confirmed the death with the ABC, making it the second time a detainee had lost their life on Manus in less than two months.

Six detainees have died on Manus Island since since 2013.

The Kurdish journalist and detainee Behrouz Boochani said the man attempted suicide three days ago and cut his neck, but his friends were able help him and take him to the hospital.

"All of the refugees in Manus are feeling very heavy with this news," said Mr Boochani.

"There is a feeling of deep despair for this man's suffering, anger at the circumstances of his death, and a sense of powerlessness that such a barbaric system is allowed to continue torturing and killing innocent people despite the overwhelming evidence of its cruelty," he said.

"This man should not have died. He should have been in a safe place with access to medical care."

A detainee from Iran, Amir Taghinia, said like all of Australia's prisoners on Manus and Nauru, the man was suffering from mental health problems.

"Every single men, women and children on these two island prisons are suffering from severe mental health conditions and Australian politicians are fully aware of it, said Mr Taghinia.

"They do not want to take any responsibility and they are simply passing these responsibilities onto the Nauruan government or the Papua New Guinea government."

Mr Taghinia said PNG was unable to provide adequate mental health services to prevent further deaths.

He said there was another man in the Transit Centre that was also very ill.

"He is wandering around naked and he has recently cut his own penis," said Mr Taghinia.

"No body is caring about him, the authorities have simply left him to whatever injuries and mental problems that he has."

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