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Australia vows no change in asylum policy after Somali woman sets herself on fire

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Australia vows no change in asylum policy after Somali woman sets herself on fire


Australia has vowed no change to its refugee policy after a Somali woman seeking asylum set fire to herself in protest over her detention on the Pacific island of Nauru.

The 21-year old is said to be in a critical condition.

It is the latest immolation by a refugee in Australian custody. Last week, a 23 year-old Iranian man died after setting himself alight.

Australia’s Immigration Minister
Peter Dutton acknowledged there had been a rise in cases of self-harm but blamed refugee advoctates for inciting such acts.

“It is of grave concern that this person would resort to such an extreme act of self-harm. I have previously expressed my frustration and anger frankly at advocates and others who are in contact with those in regional processing centres and who are encouraging some of these people to behave in a certain way, believing that that pressure exerted on the Australian Government will see a change in our policy in relation to our border protection measures,” Dutton said.

The detention centre on Nauru where the Somali woman was being held is one of several off-shore camps operated by Australia.

Human rights groups have strongly criticised Australia’s asylum policies.

Last week Papua New Guinea closed an Australian operated camp on its Island of Manus, after a Supreme Court ruling declared the facility unlawful.

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