7 May 2018

Nauru refugee on hunger strike

12:26 pm on 7 May 2018

The health of a hunger striking refugee who was transferred from Nauru to detention in Australia is in peril, an advocate says.

Omid, a 24 year-old from Iran, has been on hunger strike for over 30 days.

Advocate Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition said Omid's condition had significantly deteriorated since he was hospitalised a couple of weeks ago and he might have suffered long-term damage to his health.

"Omid and his family are the victims of three years of abuse and mistreatment, first on Nauru, now in Australia," Mr Rintoul said.

"There is simply no excuse for the way Omid and his family have been treated. There is an urgent need for the minister (Peter Dutton) to intervene to release Omid."

Omid's sister Nazanin was raped while in detention on Nauru.

Omid's sister Nazanin was raped while in detention on Nauru. Photo: Supplied

Omid is the brother of 26 year-old refugee Nazanin, who was raped on Nauru in May 2015.

Despite the advice of doctors and psychiatrists, it took over three months until August 2015 for the government to bring Nazanin to Australia, Mr Rintoul said.

Similarly, despite medical advice that Nazanin's family should be with her, her mother and brother were kept in Nauru, he said.

For months, Nazanin's brother and mother pleaded with the government to allow them to go to Australia to support Nazanin and in January 2016, they were moved to the same immigration detention centre at Villawood in Sydney.

But while Nazanin and her mother were reunited at Villawood, Omid was separated, Mr Rintoul said.

Eighteen months later in June 2017, his mother and sister were released into the community but Omid was kept locked up, he said.

While hundreds of other refugees brought from Nauru to Australia for medical reasons had been released on community detention or on bridging visas, Omid's appeals to be released from Villawood had been ignored, the advocate said.

"The doctors have told us that Omid does not have much time," Nazanin reportedly told the coalition.

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