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Refugee self-immolates in detention center on Manus island

Refugee self-immolates in detention center on Manus island
A refugee in the notorious Manus Island migrant detention camp has set himself on fire, becoming the latest in a rapidly growing list of inmates who have reportedly attempted suicide or self-harm.

The Somalian man, aged about 30, set himself alight in the East Lorengau camp on Monday, according to SBS News, who cite Manus Island sources. The blaze was quickly extinguished and the man was reportedly hospitalized for medical treatment.

Distressing images of an injured man lying in the corner of a room, covered in a powder-like fire-fighting substance, were posted to social media by an activist and fellow refugee who has lived on the island for six years. Shamindan Kanapadhi said the mental health situation on the island is “out of control.”

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Men on Manus are completely depressed and mentally unwell – the physical and mental conditions are deteriorating day after day,” Kanapadhi wrote following the incident.

At least 50 refugees or asylum seekers have attempted suicide or self-harm more than 70 times on Manus Island since the Australian federal election on May 18, refugee Benham Satah told the Associated Press.

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There is a mental health epidemic on Manus Island, according to the Refugee Action Coalition. The group said just last week that another Somali refugee tried to hang himself and a 31-year-old Iranian refugee “badly self-harmed.”

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