Afghan asylum seeker kills himself in Australia

Melbourne, Oct 20 (IANS) An Afghan asylum seeker in Australia died after setting himself on fire during a video-conference with refugee advocates, immigration ministry officials said on Tuesday.

The officials confirmed the death of Khodayar Amini, 30, in Dandenong locality in the southern Victoria state, EFE reported.

Activist Sarah Ross said, she and fellow Refugee Rights Action Network member Michelle Bui were on a video call with Amini when he threatened to commit suicide.

The Afghan, from the Hazara minority community, doused himself in petrol and set himself alight, Ross said.

Amini, who was kept in Yongah Hill immigration detention centre, showed signs of deteriorating mental health after being released on a provisional visa, according to the activist.

“He was living out of his car in the past few days,” she said.

Amini feared the Australian authorities would put him back in the detention centre, where several of his friends had committed suicide.

According to Refugee Rights Action Network, there have been two suicides and one suspicious death at the centre.

Australia has several immigration detention centres within its territory, as well as offshore ones in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, where asylum seekers are detained – despite criticisms.

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