Refugee fighting for life in Nauru hospital after setting herself alight.

By political reporters Dan Conifer and Jane Norman

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.”


Woman lived on Nauru for three years: Greens

Refugee advocates said the young Somali refugee was one of three people returned to Nauru last week after receiving medical treatment in Australia.

Senator Hanson-Young said she understood the woman was in Australia for about six months and before that, had lived on Nauru for three years.

The incident comes less than a week after a male Iranian refugee died after setting himself alight on Nauru.

Omid Masoumali, 23, set himself on fire last Wednesday in front of visiting United Nations representatives before dying on Friday in a Brisbane hospital.

An Iranian refugee earlier told the PM program thatat least three other detainees had attempted to take their own lives after meetings with visiting officials from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

She was not at the meetings where asylum seekers and refugees were reportedly told they would remain on Nauru for 10 years, but said she had several friends who were.

A spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said they were “aware” of the latest incident.

“The Department is supporting the Government of Nauru to identify appropriate medical treatment options,” he said.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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