Australia doctors refuse to discharge refugee baby for detention on Nauru

The Lady Cilento Hospital is refusing to release a baby who was injured while in detention in Nauru

Protests over the proposed return of “Baby Asha” to Nauru, the fate of 267 asylum seekers also facing removal, and Australia’s offshore processing regime in general, continued across the country on Saturday.

The 12-month-old, Darwin-born daughter of Nepalese asylum seekers was flown to the Brisbane children’s hospital for treatment to accidental burns she received while learning to walk in a detention centre on Nauru last week.

About 50 protesters gathered outside the hospital on Friday night to support the hospital’s decision – some held signs calling for the closure of Manus and Nauru.

“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”, the hospitalsaid in a statement.

Fairfaxreports members of the broader public are staging a protest outside the hospital, supporting hospital workers’ assertion Asha wouldn’t be discharged until a “suitable home environment is identified.” .

Australia’s government has directed senior officials on how to respond to questions about political turmoil and alleged corruption in Nauru, where it has an asylum seeker detention center, documents obtained by Reuters under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request show. There are also reports of systemic child abuse.

“But once a patient is right to be discharged, they should be discharged and cared for in accordance with Australian and global law”.

“My government stands absolutely ready to look after the people who are due to be sent back to Nauru– we stand ready, willing and able to do that”, the premier said.

Mr Dutton has refused to comment on the matter.

Her mother “feels safer now that the doctors are trying to protect her child from the clearly abusive conditions Asha faces upon return to detention”, said Narayanasamy, using a pseudonym for the child.

Kidd said doctors were ethically bound, by their registration and their Hippocratic oath to “do no harm” and to ensure patients were not returned to unsafe situations.

The Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, a long-standing opponent of offshore processing, said she admired the doctors’ defiance of the government’s plans to remove Asha, which she described as “cruel madness”.

The legislation is ostensibly aimed at countering people-smuggling, which sees thousands of asylum-seekers paying smugglers in an attempt to reach Australia in often unsafe boats


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