Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Cruel and barbaric

Over the weekend, Nauru threw out NGO Médecins Sans Frontières, which had been providing mental health services to the suicidal inmates of australia's concentration camp there. So what is the Nauruan regime going to do about suicidal refugees now that it has removed their only source of support? Arrest them:

Refugee advocates say police in Nauru have arrested a 36-year-old Iranian refugee for attempting suicide.

The Refugee Action Coaltion said the refugee swallowed washing powder at the Anibare camp on Monday afternoon.

The Coalition's Ian Rintoul said although the man was in obvious distress, police arrested him rather than calling an ambulance.

It follows a government edict made last week that any refugee who threatens or attempts suicide be arrested.

And its unclear whether they even gave him medical treatment.

This is simply cruel and barbaric. There's a reason civilised countries don't criminalise attempted suicide: because it doesn't work. Mental health issues are exactly that - health issues - and need to be dealt with by appropriate treatment, not the criminal justice system. Of course, the best way of dealing with these issues would be to remove the underlying cause: being detained for years without hope in an Australian concentration camp. But with Nauru being paid tens of thousands of dollars per refugee to torture them, why would they want to do that?