Nauru: mother of alleged gang-rape victim attempts suicide

The mother of an Iranian asylum seeker allegedly gang-raped on Nauru has tried to kill herself, having been told she cannot see her unwell daughter.The mother, Farrah, has been placed in isolation under 24-hour watch since the suicide attempt on Saturday, her fourth.’We suffer the same as them’: the trauma and despair of Syrians detained on NauruFarrah’s daughter, Nazanin, was allegedly gang-raped by up to three men on Nauru in May. Nazanin, 23, was found at 9pm on 16 May having been missing on the tiny island for more than three hours. She was naked, disoriented, and badly beaten.She had bruises and bite marks on her body, and told police she had been attacked and raped.No one has been charged.After the attack, Nazanin’s health deteriorated precipitously. She began to refuse to eat or drink, and attempted suicide.Workers on the island have told Guardian Australia camp managers resisted moving Nazanin to Australia even as she went into organ failure, but came under sustained pressure from doctors who warned she would die if she was not moved.Nazanin was moved to Brisbane in August, where she remains in hospital.Her mother, Farrah, and her 20-year-old brother, Omid, were told they could join their daughter and sister in Australia, but have now been told they must stay on Nauru.Omid told Guardian Australia on Wednesday that his family was not seeking exceptional consideration of their refugee claim, but just to be together.“My mother is in desperation. She wants to be close to support her daughter, who is very sick. She just wants to help her get better.“When they took her they said we would go the next day, but then they say no. Now it has been five weeks we are separated and my mother is mentally very unwell. My mother does not change her clothes, and she cries all the time. She tries to harm herself.“My mother and sister can only talk on the phone for short time every second day, and now my sister she just screams and cries on the phone. She cannot speak any more. She just screams and cries and my mother cannot help her.”Farrah’s suicide attempt has focused further scrutiny on the safety of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru.Two Somali women have reported being raped on the island in recent months.One, aged 23, is nearly three months pregnant as a result of the alleged rape, and has pleaded with the Australian government to be allowed to come to Australia to terminate the pregnancy.The request has, so far, been denied, despite entreaties to the government from lawyers, health professionals and the opposition leader, Bill Shorten.Two 17-year-old refugee boys were allegedly beaten and robbed by local men last week.The Nauruan justice minister, David Adeang, said refugees living in the Nauruan community were not in physical danger and that reports of locals attacking them were “largely fabricated”.“There is no gun violence in Nauru. People are not dying from domestic violence and our police don’t even have to be armed, so let’s get some perspective into this discussion,” he said.“In some ways Nauru is safer than Australia.”Nauru has promised all refugee determinations will be finalised within a week.Guardian Australia has approached the Nauru government and Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection for comment over Nazanin’s circumstances and the progress of investigations into her assault. This story was amended on 8 October to remove a reference to Farrah being separated from her son in the detention centre. That is not the case. Guardian Australia has chosen not to give the surname of Nazanin and her family.

Source: Nauru: mother of alleged gang-rape victim attempts suicide | Australia news | The Guardian

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