An Iranian asylum seeker divulges that his five-year-old daughter has been lately trying to commit suicide for the fear that she would be send back to Nauru.
There’s been a leaking report from Save the Children, an independent organization for children, dated July 2014 saying that the girl was exhibiting sexualized behavior while she was still in the detention facility in Nauru.
Considering the girl’s very young age,the report suggested that the girl’s sexualized behavior was not in agreement with developmentally suited behavior which a 5-year-old girl should manifest.
According to the statement of the girl’s father, which said, “Back in Nauru, the officers for Save the Children reported to me that they found my daughter without her underwear and pants, and so they made sure to take her out for examination to find out whether she had been physically abused or sexually molested.”
He said that doctors on Nauru have his daughter examined and found no evidence that she had been sexually abused, and yet later, she attempted to commit suicide.
“But the mental health doctors and professionals here have been telling me otherwise. According to them, through the consultation that we have had that she doesn’t have good memories and good experiences back in Nauru,” he added.
“Perhaps she’s been doing some recollections as to the life experiences she had while inside the facility and somehow thought of the possibility of going back there, that is why she is behaving like this.”
The father mentioned that the family took off from Nauru six months ago, not because of his daughter’s condition, but because he himself needed a specialized medical treatment for his eyes and neck. He also said that he is still waiting to see a specialist and that his family has already been informed that they will be send back to Nauru right after his treatment.
Doctors as well as mental health professionals in Darwin recommended that the family should be taken out of detention because of his daughter’s state. But to the family’s dismay, they were told that the possibility of moving out from detention is bleak because the request was rejected by the Immigration Minister.
The father revealed further, saying, “I even begged and pleaded with them to let my daughter live with an uncle but again my plea was rejected.”
Minister Peter Dutton, a spokesperson for Immigration said, “the department could not comment on placement decisions for individual detainees,” adding that, “people were often transported to the Australian mainland for medical treatment alone and returned to Nauru thereafter.”
Furthermore, the spokesperson said Barrister and refugee advocate Julian Burnside said if the 5-year-old is returned to Nauru she is going to sue the Government.
Mr Burnside said in a statement that, “The Minister should really be paying close attention to what the mental health professionals are recommending because it is a very serious thing to say that they will send the child back to Nauru where they know that child has been devastated and they are aware that the child did try to kill herself.”
“To me, this sounds very much like a government which is about to act with conscious negligence in relation to the care of a child.”
The spokesperson of the Immigration Minister said, “people were placed in detention arrangements that were appropriate for their circumstances and that the department considered various factors, including mental health support, while considering whether community detention is suitable.”