A 21-year-old Somali refugee has set herself alight on Nauru in what is the second attempted self-immolation on the island in a week.
The Government of Nauru has issued a statement saying the woman suffered critical injuries and is being treated at the Nauru hospital by Australian doctors.
However, it has requested an emergency evacuation.
In its statement, the Nauruan Government said it was “distressed” by what it described as a dreadful act and suggested refugee advocates, Australian politicians and human rights lawyers were in part to blame for giving the refugees false hope.
“These actions are purely and simply being taken because they believe that political protests will influence the Australian Government and possibly help them gain entry to Australia,” it said.
“Refugee advocates must stop giving refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru false hope and stirring up these protests. They are making the situation worse and must take responsibility for their actions and words.”
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the refugees on Nauru had no hope and it was the Government’s policy that was causing the harm.
“That’s why they’re taking these awful, awful events into their own hands,” she said.
“If you strip people of humanity, of dignity, of all hope, they become terribly, terribly depressed, distressed and, in this case, do terrible things to themselves.
“I don’t want anyone having to resort to self-harm … but what I want is the policy to stop harming people.”