Friday, May 11, 2012




A Tamil refugee with an ASIO negative security finding attempted
suicide in the early hours of today (Friday) morning. He is the second
ASIO negative Tamil refugee to attempt suicide in less than a month at
the misnamed Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA)
detention centre.

The Tamil man, in his early30s, had attempted suicide by hanging and
was dropped down by fellow refugees who found him at around 1.30am
this morning.

The Tamil refugee, the first Tamil to receive a negative ASIO finding,
had been in detention for 37 months. He was taken to hospital by
ambulance, unconscious and with a weak pulse. His present condition is
not known.

It is the second time, in less than a month, that ASIO-rejected
refugees have attempted suicide at MITA. Many of the ASIO rejected
refugees have now been in detention for three years or longer.

“The attempted suicides highlight the terrible situation for the
ASIO-negative refugees,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the
Refugee Action Coalition, “They are condemned to indefinite detention,
without charge or trial. There is no right to know what evidence ASIO
relies on for the negative security finding and there is no right to
review or appeal negative decisions.

“The Labor government has been sitting on its hands since last
December’s ALP national conference called for the independent security
monitor to review the handling of ASIO refugee assessments, said

The indefinite detention of ASIO negative refugees is the subject of a
complaint by ASIO negative refugees in Australian detention to the
Geneva UN High Commission for Human Rights. The Australian government
has been given until July to respond to a complaint.
The recent Parliamentary Report into detention has also called for
refugees to have the same rights of review and appeal for their ASIO
assessments as Australian citizens.

“Chris Bowen must urgently address the recommendations of the
Parliamentary Inquiry into Immigration Detention that call for
refugees to have the same rights of review and appeal for their ASIO
assessments as Australian citizens. This is becoming a matter of life
and death,” said Lucy Honan, from Melbourne Refugee Action Collective.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul (Refugee Action Coalition)
0417 275 713 or Lucy Honan from the Melbourne Refugee Action
Collective, 0404728104