Press Release October 4 2015



4th October 2015

PDF //Press Release 04/10/2015

This afternoon, Farrah*, an Iranian woman in detention on Nauru attempted suicide by hanging. Farrah is the mother of Nazanin and Omid whose stories have already been covered in the Australian media. Nazanin, is a gravely ill 23 year old receiving treatment for kidney failure in a main- land hospital following her rape and subsequent suicide attempts. Omid is her 20 year-old brother whose cruel and degrading treatment at the hands of camp guards and Nauru police has attracted UN attention.

Farah was no longer able to bear the acute suffering and separation the family has been forced to endure.

At the same time RAPBS has grave fears for Omid who is in a state of deep despair and whose mental health has markedly deteriorated in the last day. He told a friend: ‘I am watching my mother die as I was watching my sister die. Now we are separated. I want to close my eyes and never wake’.

A close guard has been set since on Farrah and Omid making it impossible for them to communicate with each other or with friends.

Dr Helen Driscoll, trauma specialist and consultant adolescent psychiatrist in Juvenile Justice who is familiar with the case notes ‘The fact [is]that Nazanin and each family member is utterly crushed and the only option to ease intolerable suffering is suicide from total despair’ (full statement attached).

She adds that this is an ‘entirely predictable’ state of affairs’ in light of the approach adopted by the IHMS in dealing with the case of Nazanin and her family: ‘IHMS refers to the problem of ‘avoidance’ developing if people are moved from the site of their trauma! The fallout for this family is tragically entirely predicable and I hold IHMS and the DIBP totally responsible for their continued suffering and their pending demise’.

In an Open Letter calling for the shutdown of the offshore detention centres, Rosie Batty, Australian of the Year states, ‘The people forcibly held there are those who sought protection in this country. They deserve care, not punishment’.

The conditions on Nauru are punitive, dangerous and destructive of the refugees’ very will to live.

Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites calls for the family of Nazanin to be brought to Australia immediately for their safety and protection, a promise made to them when their Nazanin was airlifted to Australia several weeks ago.

* Farrah – not real name

Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites
Media Contacts:
Professor Suvendrini Perera: 0409 747 200 Janet Galbraith: 0418 399 646 Dr Helen Driscoll: 0403 364 486