New suicide attempt in Darwin detention centre

February 23, 2012

The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) released the statement below on February 23.

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The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network has been informed that an Iranian man attempted suicide today at the Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC). The man has been detained in the infamous North 2 punishment compound for two weeks.

After self-harming during the day, the man climbed onto the roof of North 2, made a noose out of a sheet, and was stopped just before jumping from the roof.

The man has been on a number of hunger strikes in detention and has asked to be removed from Australia as a result of the effects of detention on his mental health. Several men inside the North 2 punishment compound have been detained in there for six months.

DASSAN spokesperson Fernanda Dalstrom said: "The latest suicide attempt in a Darwin detention centre highlights the effects of mandatory detention on asylum seekers. The North 2 compound on NIDC is a living hell for those inside and an urgent review needs to be undertaken in relation to its use by the private corporation that operates NIDC — Serco.

“The compound has seen a large number of suicide attempts and self harm incidents over recent months.

“Today Amnesty International described NIDC as not being appropriate for detaining asylum seekers. This latest suicide attempt is further proof of that. If the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship does not act soon to close NIDC there will be a death inside there.”

DASSAN has been informed the man is being provided with medical treatment.

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