Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has been accused by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young of mentally torturing a young girl by holding her in Nauru Detention Centre.
The five-year-old Iranian asylum seeker and her parents are being held in Darwin due to her father’s health issues and will be sent back to Nauru after his medical treatment.
According to the ABC, while she was in the detention centre the young girl showed signs of deteriorating mental health and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Senator Hanson-Young has written to Mr Dutton saying his decision to leave the children in detention and ignore experts advice on their mental health is torturous.
“The minister is torturing this little child and I don’t use those words lightly,” Ms Hanson-Young said.
“We know that the detention has caused these issues for her. Her mental health has deteriorated.”
The Government’s latest statistics from March 31, 2015 revealed that 124 children are being held in immigration detention facilities within Australia and 103 are held in Nauru.
The facilities in the Nauru Detention Centre have been described by Amnesty International as inhumane with asylum seekers living in leaking army tents making their clothes and bedding wet.
Amnesty International spokesman told the Newsroom temperatures reach up to 40 degrees with 80 per cent humidity making their tents unusable during the day.
“The standard of life under rough tents is not even suitable for cattle. The wild and phosphoric atmosphere of Nauru causes several diseases.”
The plan to close the Nauru Detention Centre school, previously praised by Minister Peter Dutton as being the equal of many in Australia, and send the children to local schools has provoked dissent on the island, according to a report by the Guardian. – Jacinta Scott
Top photo from Louise Coghill’s Flickr photostream.