Jan. 16th, 2017

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
'They're trying to kill me, if they kill me take care of my son.'

Faysal Ishak Ahmed was tortured by Sudanese militias, who killed members of his family and raped his sister. They demanded that he join them; he fled to Australia. We sent him to Manus Island, where after more than three years of detention he died of medical neglect on Christmas Eve, 2016. His wife and infant son remain in a Sudanese refugee camp.

More than 200 detainees signed an open letter describing the failure to diagnose and treat Faysal despite his repeated requests and a plea from 60 of his fellow Sudanese refugees, which pointed out that he had been experiencing blackouts for months. The open letter also stated that 400 of the 900 detainees require urgent medical treatment. They also engaged in a peaceful protest at the detention centre.

The president of Doctors for Refugees states that, had Faysal been in Australia, his symptoms would have prompted urgent tests. "In Australia, after the requisite brain scans such as CT and MRI, he would normally have cardiac investigations, such as an echocardiogram... We have seen instances where basic tests have not been performed on people in offshore detention, and in the medical records the doctor has justified this by stating 'they often exaggerate their symptoms to get attention'." (This victim-blaming excuse - 'Oh, they just want attention' - will be horribly familiar to many of us.)

Faysal's death will be investigated by the Senate committee currently looking into abuse of refugees on Nauru and Manus. It is also under investigation by the Queensland Coroner.

Refugee cartoonist Eaten Fish's account of Faysal's death is harrowing. Iranian refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani spoke to Faysal's friend Omar Jack Giram about Faysal's life, illness, and death. Faysal is the fourth refugee to have died on Manus Island, and the second to die of medical neglect. Sudanese detainee Abdul Aziz Adam said: 'This system is designed to kill us one by one.'


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