20 Jun 2007

Refugee advocacy group in Australia worried for Sri Lankan asylum seeker

9:57 am on 20 June 2007

A refugee advocacy group in Australia says it is worried about the health of a Sri Lankan asylum seeker due to be sent to Nauru for off shore processing.

The man has been receiving medical treatment in Australia for injuries he received after being caught in the crossfire during fighting between government forces and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

The Immigration Minister has decided not to let the man stay in Australia to be processed on humanitarian grounds.

A lawyer for Australia's Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, David Manne, says although the man's move to Nauru has been delayed on medical grounds, the Minister's decision still stands:

"His decision was tantamount to saying it is not in the public interest to allow a man who has suffered such profound trauma and damage and requires on going medical treatment to remain in Australia but rather to cast him into indefinite exile in Nauru where there are real concerns he will not be able to access adequate medical treatment."

Mr Manne says a number of the 82 Sri Lankans already on Nauru are challenging the Australian government's actions in the High Court.