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Issue #1699      August 26, 2015

Fears for health of Nauru rape victim

Fears are growing for the health of the 23-year-old Iranian asylum seeker on Nauru who has been held in isolation since being the victim of a savage sexual assault in May.

Nazinan’s physical and mental health has deteriorated badly since the attack. She has not been eating or drinking for the last few weeks and is often unresponsive even to family members.

On August 14, after falling unconscious, Nazinan was admitted to the Nauru hospital and was re-hydrated. It is reported that she is now too weak to walk unaided.

On August 17, doctors told her family that the high potassium levels in her blood indicate kidney failure and that she at risk of permanent kidney damage. On August 18, doctors again told the family that Nazinan’s kidneys were failing and have warned that already she may require a kidney transplant.

But immigration has done nothing to provide the health care Nazinan needs.

“Since the assault in May, the Immigration Department has done everything to cover up the attack. The family was told that Nazinan would be brought to Australia as other sexual assault victims on Nauru have been,“ said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“But a week ago, the department officials changed their minds. Immigration and IHMS (private health provider International Health and Medical Services) officials sent from Canberra told the family that they would not be taken to Australia but would be sent back to the family detention camp on Nauru.

“Even as Nazinan’s health has failed so badly in the last few days, immigration have sat on their hands. They have done nothing to provide the medical assistance she urgently needs. She is still isolated at the IHMS clinic.

“Nazinan is a victim of sexual assault. Now she is a victim of wilful neglect by Australian Immigration and IHMS who are responsible for her. Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton is playing politics with her life. Peter Dutton is guilty of attempting to cover up the scale of sexual abuse on Nauru.

“Nazinan must be urgently medi-vacced to Australia.”

Next article – Government attempts to muzzle the arts

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