A dying asylum seeker has been brought to Australia from Nauru. Picture: AAP
A dying asylum seeker has been brought to Australia from Nauru. Picture: AAP

Dying asylum seeker brought to Australia

The Australian government has brought a dying asylum seeker from Nauru to Brisbane for palliative care - buckling in the face of growing outrage.

The asylum seeker, identified in media reports as a 63-year-old Hazara father named Ali, is believed to have only months or weeks to live as he fights aggressive lung cancer.

The Hazara are a persecuted ethnic group from Afghanistan.

The 63-year-old belonged to a persecuted ethnic group from Afghanistan. 
Picture: AAP
The 63-year-old belonged to a persecuted ethnic group from Afghanistan. Picture: AAP

More than 2000 doctors, numerous organisations and thousands of Australians petitioned the government to bring Ali to Australia after it was reported the Department of Home Affairs wanted him to be flown to Taiwan for palliative care.

Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone, on Tuesday, said Ali needed to come to Australia because "there is no Hazara community in Taiwan, he has no friends or family there, no-one to translate from his language, and no one to perform the Shia Muslim rituals after his death".

AMA President Dr Tony Bartone said Ali needed to come to Australia. Picture: AAP
AMA President Dr Tony Bartone said Ali needed to come to Australia. Picture: AAP

Dr Bartone reiterated AMA calls for asylum seekers like Ali to be treated "with compassion, respect and dignity".

Ali was quietly brought to Brisbane on Saturday evening for medical treatment, refugee advocacy groups and The Guardian reported.

Refugee Action Coalition Sydney's Ian Rintoul said the government has clearly been forced to back down in the face of "growing public outcry" that was "only going to get worse".

"It has been a shocking experience," he told AAP on Saturday.

"It's even more shocking to realise if he had been able to access proper medical facilities the cancer diagnosis may have been revealed earlier and prevented him reaching this terminal situation."

Refugee Action Coalition Sydney’s Ian Rintoul said Ali didn’t have access to proper medical facilities. Picture: Troy Snook
Refugee Action Coalition Sydney’s Ian Rintoul said Ali didn’t have access to proper medical facilities. Picture: Troy Snook

Mr Rintoul said allowing Ali to die in Australia was the least authorities could do.

"But this one act of compassion can't cover up the thousands of instances of abuse which is the reality of Nauru and Manus Island," he said.

Global condemnation about the treatment of Mexican immigrants under US President Donald Trump and Italy's rejection of a migrant ship would also have factored into the backdown, Mr Rintoul added.

The department has been contacted for comment.


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