In response to an announcement by Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie that she will not support the repeal of the Medevac Bill unless a certain, unknown condition is met, Amnesty International Australia Refugee Advisor Graham Thom said:
“We welcome Senator Lambie’s recognition of the efforts of all the groups including Amnesty International and our supporters and the wider community in assisting her in making a decision.
“Australians have shown they support Medevac, because they understand that doctors, rather than politicians or bureaucrats should be making medical decisions.
“It is simple: Medevac gives people access to the health care that they need and can’t get in Australia’s horrific offshore detention regime. People are literally being evacuated out of life-threatening conditions that the Australian government put them and continues to hold them in. Critical ill people need to be assured they can access the life saving treatment they require to survive. Nothing more, nothing less.
“There should be no conditions on the lives of refugees, and we urge Senator Lambie to save Medevac and protect the lives of very vulnerable people.”
Kanapathi Shamindan, a Tamil refugee who remains in limbo in one of the world’s most dangerous cities, more than six years after seeking safety in Australia, said the offshore detention regime has devastated the physical and psychological health of people seeking Australia’s protection.
“For almost seven years now the combination of indefinite detention and the lack of medical care has destroyed the mental health and physical health of refugees in offshore processing. We have already lost 12 innocent men. No one has died since the Medevac laws were introduced. Medevac is saving lives,” he said.