Iran raps Australia for mistreating asylum seekers

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates’ Affairs Hassan Qashqavi lashed out at Australia for not taking practical measures to stop mistreatment of asylum seekers, and warned Iranians not to travel to Australia through illegal channels.

“Negotiations between Iran and Australia continue even at the level of foreign ministers on the situation of Iranian asylum seekers and we have expressed our protest at them during the meetings,” Qshqavi said in Tehran on Friday.

Noting that reciprocal visits of the Iranian and Australian officials continue without yielding any tangible results and any change in the situation of the Iranian asylum seekers in Australia, he said, “Our protests continue and the Australian government gives promises every time but it has not adopted any practical measures in this regard.”

Qashqavi asked Iranians, specially the young people, not to use illegal channels for traveling to Australia.

Also in September, the Iranian deputy foreign minister had rapped Australia for mistreating the refugees after an Iranian national died in the country due to the inhuman conditions of a refugee camp.

“The islands that Australia has considered for sheltering the refugees who intend to enter the country via the sea have hard and inhumane weather conditions and the refugees are not treated well in them,” Qashqavi said in September.

He referred to the Iranian refugee who lost his life after suffering septicemia and then brain death in Australia, and said, “The bad respiratory conditions in Manus Island and the impacts of this region’s sewage on people’s living conditions made the Iranian national’s health conditions grow critical and led to his septicemia.”

Noting that he had held several meetings with Australian officials and the country’s ambassador had been summoned to the Iranian foreign ministry to protest at the situation of the Iranian nationals seeking asylum in Australia, Qashqavi called on human rights activists and institutions to use their capacities to put an end to such inhumane conditions in Australia.

“Sometimes, the refugees are deliberately kept in bad weather conditions, made to suffer malnutrition and don’t receive proper medical treatment, and we have always protested at such a behavior of the Australian government,” the deputy foreign minister stressed.

News reports said in September that an Iranian man who had been seeking asylum in Australia, but developed septicemia after a cut on his foot at an offshore detention center, had died.

Activists said Hamid Khazayee, 24, cut his foot while at Australia’s camp on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

The cut became infected and led to septicemia, which caused a heart attack, they say.

Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition confirmed news of Khazayee’s death.

Rintoul blamed conditions in the camp for Khazayee’s infection, saying detainees sometimes had to walk through raw sewage overflows caused by hosing out blocked toilets and by high tides.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said there was a delay in providing adequate care to Khazayee – a claim echoed by Rintoul, who described the Manus Island camp as “unhygienic hell-hole that must be closed”.

By Fars News Agency


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