Hunger striker transferred to Australia 'temporarily'

AN asylum seeker who has been on a hunger strike for almost 50 days has been transferred to Australia to undergo urgent medical attention.

There were reports earlier this week of the man, who is believed to be Iranian, being hospitalised in Nauru, prompting Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young to call on Immigration Minister Chris Bowen to intervene.

The Department of Immigration confirmed after 5pm on Friday that the man had been transferred to Australia "temporarily" because his condition had deteriorated to a point where he could not be treated on Nauru.

A department spokesman would not provide further details about whether the man had ingested any food or specifics about his medical condition.

The decision was based on a recommendation by the department's health services provider, International Health and Medical Services.

As soon as he is deemed fit to travel the man will be returned to the processing centre on Nauru.

Meanwhile, a second group of asylum seekers, including 12 children, has been transferred to the regional processing centre on Manus Island.

The department said the transfer was made up entirely of eight families from Sri Lanka and Iran and included 16 adults and the children.

They arrived in Papua New Guinea early on Friday.

The selection of this group was based on "operational considerations and an assessment of their particular circumstances", the department said.

Topics:  hunger strike manus island nauru

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