An Australian hospital is refusing to release an asylum seeker toddler who is being treated for burns suffered while in detention on Nauru, until a “suitable” home is found.
A spokesperson from Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane confirmed to the Sydney Morning Herald that it was treating a 12-month-old girl from Nauru. A statement delivered by the Spokesperson said that the hospital, “will only be discharged once a suitable home environment is identified.”
The statement continued, “The family remains very scared they will be secretly snatched from the hospital and returned to detention this weekend. All decisions relating to a patient’s treatment and discharge are made by qualified clinical staff, based on a thorough assessment of the individual patient’s clinical condition and circumstances, and with the goal of delivering the best outcome.”
In a recent interview with Sydney Morning Herald, Shen Narayansamy, the Human Rights Director for Getup, said the child’s mother “feels safer now that the doctors are trying to protect her child from the clearly abusive conditions Asha [a pseudonym] faces upon return to detention”.
Shen continued saying, “the Australian Border Force has overruled decisions of medical experts in the past, so the family remains very scared they will be secretly snatched from the hospital and returned to detention this weekend”.
“The hospital’s stance “sends a loud message to the government that child abuse is unjustifiable, under any circumstances. All this mother wants is for her baby to be safe, and unfortunately at the moment nobody can promise her that,” she said.
“[The mother] said that after the way the family has been treated in the past, every time the door opens in their room, her heart starts racing and she becomes terrified.”
The child has been recovering from accidental burns injuries sustained at Nauru. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection, which includes the Australian Border Force, has not commented on the situation.
Image source: Getty Images