Refugee on Manus sets himself alight, representing the 45th attempt since May 18

According to refugee advocates, the approximate number of suicide attempts on Manus Island has reached 45 after a Somalian refugee set himself alight earlier today.



There’s no way can twist it, refresh it, or present it in a way beyond the obvious; on Manus Island, it has happened again.

According to refugee advocate Shamindan Kanapadhi, an individual set himself alight and remains in a critical condition on the island. The individual in question is a Somalian refugee, one held for the last six years at the East Lorengau Transit Center on Manus Island.


The East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre (ABC News)


The Refugee Action Coalition noted as early as May 31, the Pacific International Hospital on Lorengau was already turning away attempted suicides of detainees and freeing up beds for locals. At the time of writing, his current condition remains unknown, however, it is believed that he remains in the hospital at Lorengau.


Facebook: Shamindan Kanapadhi


According to Kanapadhi, this attempt figures to be approximately the 45th since the Federal Election on May 18.

“The list of urgent cases grows longer by the day, and urgent action is needed by the government to evacuate refugees from Manus Island,” said Ian Rintoul of The Refugee Action Coalition. “There is no excuse for six years detention and no excuse for inaction in the face of the humanitarian crisis on Manus Island. It is only a matter of time before one of the suicide attempts is successful and the government adds to its grisly offshore detention toll,” he concluded.

The prostrate figure, lying on the tile of a shared bathroom, covered in a sheet of flame-retardant chemicals should serve as a lasting image; one highlighting the standard we’ve walked past, and thus accepted.


The Big Smoke has reached out to the Minister of Immigration for comment.



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