For original, full text visit: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/greens-call-on-bowen-to-intervene-in-case-of-asylum-seeker-on-hunger-strike-20121129-2ahl8.html

“SARAH Hanson-Young has appealed directly to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, urging him to personally intervene in the case of Omid, an Iranian man on his 48th day of hunger strike on Nauru…

An immigration spokeswoman…declined to say whether Omid was being forcibly fed, saying it would be inappropriate to give details of an individual’s medical treatment…

Senator Hanson-Young said Omid’s condition was ”getting worse by the day”. ”I’m calling directly on Minister Bowen to intervene and bring this man to the Australian mainland to ensure he has appropriate medical assistance,” she said. ”And whatever people want to say about the politics on this issue here in this place [parliament], whatever people may think about the no-advantage test, the fact is we have a man who is very close to losing his life. And he is a human being.” Senator Hanson-Young said the issue was above politics. But she would not say whether he should be fed against his will.

Mr Bowen’s office has been contacted for comment. But Mr Bowen told Labor MPs this week the man would not be transferred to Australia, saying he was receiving the best care possible in the circumstances.

There have been 10 episodes of self-harm at the Nauru processing centre in 24 hours, and Nauru detainees say they were a direct response to the government’s decision to release thousands of recently- arrived asylum seekers into the community… Another four incidents followed late in the afternoon, according to an asylum seeker. ”I cannot express what is happening here,” the man said. ”Everyone is crying and saying, ‘Why am I here?”’

Other asylum seekers said they could not accept they were being treated differently to those whose claims were to be processed on the mainland, when they arrived at the same time, and even on the same boats…

Detainees on Nauru acknowledged concerns about the conditions of bridging visas that will be offered to those who arrived after August 13, but who cannot be accommodated at centres on Nauru or Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island. But they could not understand why they were selected to go to Nauru. They also asserted that those hurting themselves were suffering depression after being confined to the Nauru centre…”

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