Close up of an Amnesty candle at a vigil

‘More people will die’: Medevac repeal a shameful day

Shaminda Kanapathi, a refugee who has spent more than six years in offshore detention said he is fearful of the consequences of this repeal of the Medevac legislation in Parliament today.

The decision of the Australian Government to repeal the Medevac Bill is devastating for all of us in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Shaminda Kanapathi

“The decision of the Australian Government to repeal the Medevac Bill is devastating for all of us in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. This same Government has kept us trapped for so many years. So many of us are so very sick. The Australian Government has destroyed our health and our freedom and now they must take responsibility for the terrible impact I am fearful of – that more people will die and all the Parliamentarians who voted to repeal Medevac will be responsible.”

Amnesty International Australia Refugee Advisor Graham Thom said the focus must now be on how to quickly resolve the issue of the more than 500 people still languishing in offshore detention.

“It’s a shameful day when the Australian Parliament turns its back on sick people in desperate need of medical attention. Let’s not forget that this offshore detention system is the one under which 12 innocent people have died.

“Medevac was not perfect, but it allowed people to access life-saving medical treatment in a timely manner.

“With this option now unavailable to refugees and asylum seekers under Australia’s care, the focus must now be on moving everyone still stuck in limbo on Nauru and in PNG  to safety without delay.”

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