Saturday July 29 2006, 8:30AM WEST
For Immediate Release
"Acting squarely against explicit doctors' advice at the Brisbane Children's Hospital who told officials to not relocate the boy and his family to any remote detention facility, a nine-year-old Afghan boy who in recent weeks underwent an operation to remove his spleen, is set to be removed from the current arrangement of living in 'community detention' in Brisbane to the remote facility on Christmas Island," WA Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
The family arrived in Australia via the Torres Strait islands two months ago and sought asylum upon arrival, the factor of their sick son reportedly being one of the main factors behind the family's urgency to reach Australia. Soon afterwards the boy was being diagnosed and underwent an operation to remove his spleen in a Brisbane hospital.
"This is a blatant example of the DIMA clearly not having learnt from experience," spokesman Jack H Smit said. "We already clearly know that asylum seekers who are medically vulnerable, are placed in danger by being in remote detention facilities. We know how Fatima Erfani, a young mother of three, died in Perth from a massive brain aneurysm after delays and cover-ups where detention guards on Christmas Island 'fed her' panadols to get Ms Erfani out of their hair and out of the medical office in the detention centre, all this while she was already in grave danger."
"We already know how the case of the 14-year old boy Shahin Agdar, who while being left untreated in the Port Hedland detention centre, lost the sight in one eye permanently, and nearly also the sight in his other eye."
"It seems clear, that the Department of Immigration once again is digging in its heels - as we have also seen recently with the detention of a Japanese honors and PhD student in Villawood."
"The Department of Immigration is once again resorting to secretive methods, to methods of whisking away the rights of asylum seekers, and the rights of child asylum seekers. The Department remains happy to be in breach of the Convention for the Rights of the Child and of several other Conventions Australia has ratified."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]