14 Mar 2019

Former Nauru president given weeks to live

5:05 pm on 14 March 2019

A former president of Nauru who was long denied medical treatment overseas, has been told by his doctors he may have just weeks to live.

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido Photo: supplied

Sprent Dabwido is now in Australia where he is receiving radiation treatment for throat cancer that has spread to other parts of his body.

He is part of the so-called Nauru 19 which has had a prolonged battle with the government over a protest outside parliament nearly four years ago.

The charges against the Nauru 19 were thrown out last September with the judge calling the government's conduct in the trial a "shameful affront to the rule of law".

The government is appealing the acquittal.

Mr Dabwido was diagnosed with cancer in March and was encouraged by his doctors to seek immediate treatment in Australia, but was blocked by the Nauru government from leaving the country.

The government also refused to fund his treatment.

He was also stopped from leaving following the trial decision in September but late last year had emergency treatment in Bangkok which he paid for himself.

Since arriving in Australia for additional treatment Mr Dabwido has been seeking asylum, and he says that process is still underway.

One bright spot for him during this latest treatment has been his marriage to his partner of eight years, Lucinta.

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