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Issue #1618      November 13, 2013

Scott Morrison’s deception exposed

The Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has been caught in his own web of deceptive half-truths and policy of media blackout. At a media briefing on October 18, Scott Morrison famously denied that there was a pregnant woman on Nauru. Previously Morrison’s office claimed that the fact that there was pregnant woman on Nauru was “unsubstantiated”.

But the pregnant Rohingyan woman that Immigration Minister Scott Morrison denied existed had been brought from Nauru to Brisbane just days before Morrison’s briefing.

Scott Morrison had also bragged about the birthing facilities on Nauru, although he conspicuously avoided the fact that Nauruan infant mortality is twice that of Australia. Morrison had been insistent that there were no exceptions regarding transfers of asylum seekers to Nauru and that pregnant women, and young families would be sent to Nauru.

Originally believed to be carrying twins, the 31 year old Rohingyan asylum seeker was told she was carrying one baby after examination at a Brisbane hospital. On Nauru, she was also diagnosed with diabetes. She gave birth to a baby boy, by Caesarean section, on Wednesday afternoon, November 6.

The Rohingyan family has two other children, a seven-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son.

“Despite the Minister’s boasting, it is now clear that even his own department does not think there are adequate medical facilities for pregnant women on Nauru,” said Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition. “Diabetic pregnancies present specific significant medical problems for both mother and baby. Thankfully the woman was brought to Australia. It was always irresponsible of Scott Morrison to insist that a twin birth would present no problems on Nauru.

“On top of that, the facilities in the camp are appalling. The heat makes it impossible for anyone, particularly the children, to sleep. The rationed five minute showers have to be taken together with the children and the shortage of water means the shower is a trickle of water. There are no facilities for the new-born.”

To add insult to injury, the Rohinyan family was found to be UNHCR refugees in Malaysia in 2005. The Refugee Action Coalition has been told that there are many other Rohingyan UNHCR refugees being dumped on Nauru.

“Morrison’s efforts at deception can’t hide the stark facts of the detention hell-hole on Nauru. More and more of the mistreatment of asylum seekers and the cruelty of off-shore processing is being revealed,” said Rintoul.   

Next article – Residents stand strong against proposed Melbourne tunnel

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