Protesters have gathered at a hospital in Brisbane Australian to support doctors that have refused to discharge a baby facing deportation to a detention camp
The daughter of asylum-seeker parents suffered serious burns at an immigration camp on Nauru island.
The government says its controversial offshore detention policy is necessary. It is aimed at preventing asylum seekers trying to reach Australia on non-seaworthy boats.
Ellen Roberts, a spokeswoman for campaign group GetUp, said protesters were “standing in solidarity” with the baby’s parents,who are in Brisbane and the hospital.
“We are calling on Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull to do the right thing and let the family stay,”
Image: Brent Cue
In September, a senate committee report said conditions there were “not adequate, appropriate or safe” and that allegations of rape and abuse should be investigated. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has not commented on the girl’s specific case.
“All decisions relating to a patient’s treatment and discharge are made by qualified clinical staff, based on a thorough assessment of the individual patient’s clinical condition and circumstances,”
In response the hospital said ‘Any child who is taken to hospital is only released if a suitable environment exists.’
The number of asylum seekers travelling to Australia by boat rose sharply in 2012 and early 2013. Scores of people have died making the journey. To stop the influx, the government adopted tough measures intended as a deterrent. Everyone who arrives is detained. Under a new policy, they are processed in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Those found to be refugees will be resettled in PNG, Nauru or Cambodia. More measures include thea policy of tow-backs, or turning boats around.
Earlier this month, the High Court upheld the constitutionality of offshore detention, allowing the government to deport 267 people, including 37 babies, who were brought to Australia for medical treatment. Their cases have sparked national protests under the banner #LetThemStay.
Photo: Getty Images