World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Villawood Suicide: Detention claims another victim

A 33 year-old refugee, from Sierra Leone has hanged himself in Villawood Detention Centre. He was found in his room around 4.30pm, this afternoon, Friday 25 January.

It is understood that Musa (not his real name) had been held in the detention centre around three years, and had previously been diagnosed with psychiatric problems.

Tragically, Musa was actually on ‘suicide watch’ inside the Mitchell compound of Villawood detention centre, having been being discharged from Liverpool Hospital only two days ago.

“This is a completely shocking and unnecessary death; the responsibility for which lies with the Minister. It was the Minister for Immigration and Home Affairs who was keeping him in detention. The responsibility for his death lies with the Minister,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Musa should never have been in detention in the first place. His severe mental health problems have been known for years, yet he was kept in detention with no hope of getting well.”

The refugee’s death comes as a national hunger strike protest has pushed the issue of long-term detention, and the injustices associated with s501 of the Migration Action and the Ministerial powers that allow non-citizens to be denied normal appeal and to held essentially in indefinite detention at the discretion of the Minister.

“The Minister needs to urgently act to release all the at-risk detainees as the first step in closing tall the detention centres completely. We need more than the usual coronial inquest inquiry that can takes years before there is any finding," said Rintoul.

" There are hundreds of people at-risk inside the mainland detention centres. We need an independent inquiry to find out why he was in detention, instead of getting the mental health care he needed in the community.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Iran Aftermath

So, evidently, you can get away with murder. It looks as though a further escalation in the ongoing war between Iran and the US has been avoided – mainly thanks to Iran NOT responding in kind to the recklessly unhinged behaviour by the United States. ... More>>


Madrid Climate Talks: Decade Ending 2019 Likely To Be Hottest On Record

“If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3°C by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human wellbeing.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Recent Upheavals Inside Iran

In the fortnight since the Internet got switched back on in Iran, the ferocity of the crackdown on the recent demonstrations has become evident. Reportedly, hundreds of people have been killed, thousands wounded and thousands more have been arrested. More>>