Weekly media wrap - 19 March 2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and members of the Coalition have continued to claim that refugees transferred to Australia for medical treatment under the medevac arrangements will equate to Australians losing out on medical services. In response, a number of health care associations and hospitals stated that the Australian system has the capacity to provide medical treatment to asylum seekers and refugees without impacting Australians. 

Hakeem Al-Araibi, Bahraini-born refugee and footballer, became an Australian citizen at a ceremony in Melbourne alongside over 200 new citizens. Following his two-and-a-half-month ordeal in a Thai prison from late 2018 where he was detained due to Bahrain’s extradition request, he returned to Australia in February and completed the citizenship test. 

The United Nations voiced its concern over a plan to relocate 23,000 Rohingya refugees currently in Bangladesh to a remote island. Bangladesh proposed the relocation due to the chronic overcrowding at Cox’s Bazar where approximately 730,000 Rohingya are currently taking shelter. Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee stated that the island of the proposed relocation may not even be habitable, and fears relocation could create a ‘new crisis’.