Pacific / Papua New Guinea

Activists say mental health of Australian refugees at crisis point

18:30 pm on 27 November 2020

Campaigners say the mental health of refugees detained in Australia has reached crisis point.

In the latest case they says a 32 year old Iranian refugee, who was held on Manus Island for six years until flown to Australia last year with heart and kidney problems, now has very poor mental health.

The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul said as long as refugees are in detention they cannot recover.

"Their physical and mental health is deteriorating by the day," he said.

Mr Rintoul believes there is political discrimination against the medivacced refugees.

He said while others have gone into community detention, those refugees brought under the medivac laws are still in detention, after two years.

Protest outside a Brisbane detention facility Photo: facebook

Bev Holmes-Brown is a friend of the 32 Iranian and described the detention conditions where they share rooms.

"They literally go from bedroom to lounge to dining and back to bedroom. They don't even have an hour's exercise a day. They have entered their eighth year in detention now, incarceration, and now they are in such a dire place that they sleep their days and nights away. And commonly say they just don't want to see themselves in this life anymore," she said.