Weekly media wrap - 27 March 2017

Protesters gathered outside Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre in an attempt to prevent the deportation of a 60-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker known as ‘Saeed’. Following a recent hunger strike, Saeed was shifted from Melbourne to Villawood, during which time he was denied access to his lawyer. In response to the protest, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection stated: ‘This individual has had their claims for protection carefully assessed. It is now expected they should depart Australia.’

The Nauruan government detained two Australian Wilson security officers after revoking their visas. It is understood that the guards, who had been working at Nauru’s Australian-run immigration detention centre, were not charged with any crime or wrongdoing. Their detention followed Wilson Security’s decision not to hire a local Nauruan, provoking concerns that it was ‘political payback’.

The partner of Iranian refugee Omid Masoumali, who died after setting himself alight in protest on Nauru in April 2016, spoke publicly for the first time about her grief and trauma.  Pari, who has been in isolated detention in Australia since Omid’s death, now suffers from ‘complex post-traumatic stress disorder with depression and associated panic attacks’, according to clinical psychiatrist Helen Driscoll. Natasha Blucher, detention advocacy manager with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, urged the government to ‘put all of the politics aside’ and release Pari.