One Refugee Continues Hunger Strike At Nauru Facility
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Nov. 13, 2012) – An asylum seeker at Australia's immigration processing centre on Nauru says only one asylum seeker at the centre is continuing with his hunger strike.
A man known as Mohammed told theABC he and his fellow detainees decided to eat again, after receiving confirmation that Amnesty International will travel to the facility to hear their concerns.
Mohammed says only one man - an Iranian named Omid - is continuing to refuse food.
He says Omid has not eaten in 32 days.
Mohammed says although doctors are concerned for Omid's health he remains at the detention centre.
"Right now you will find him like a skeleton body and he say that it is better to die instead of leaving him in Nauru," he said.
"Last time the doctor told him that very soon your heart and brain will stop working."
There had been earlier reports that 24 new asylum seeker arrivals had joined the hunger strike on Nauru.
The group - comprised of men from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sri Lanka - was transferred from the northern Australian city of Darwin on Monday.
There are now 386 people at the facility, and asylum seekers claimed that at the peak of the protest 305 of them were refusing food.
Australia's immigration department disputed that figure, and said that the actual number was much lower.
Amnesty International has said it is highly concerned about the asylum seekers and will send two experts to Nauru next week.
They will visit the processing centre and speak to Australian immigration officials, health and aid workers, representatives of Nauru's Government, as well as the men housed at the facility.
Dr. Graham Thom, the watchdog's refugee spokesperson and refugee policy expert, said the Australian immigration department has facilitated visits to its other centers in the past, and he is currently working with them to finalize the details for meetings on Nauru.
"It's not a secretive investigation or anything like that," Dr. Thom told ABC Radio Australia'sPacific Beat program.
"We really want to be very transparent, but we want to see firsthand what's going on, what is the situation and what's happening on the ground, how are people being treated, what are the conditions that's facing them day-to-day and obviously look into concerns around hunger strikes and other things that we're hearing in the media."
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