A man sets himself on fire in Sydney over immigration policies

A man has set himself on fire after a standoff with police near the Sydney offices of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The man screamed as flames instantly engulfed the lower half of his body prompting a rapid rescue by firefighters who were standing by with extinguishers.

Police declined to identify the man or his nationality but said that it was an act of protest and that the man was not seriously hurt.

The police appear to have been well prepared in part because they said they had previous experience with the man and because threats of this nature in protest against Australia’s immigration policies are relatively common.