Hamid Khazaei 12e - The Inquest


The Inquest: a ‘preventable’ death

Refugee rights supporters gather outside the Coroner's Court in Brisbane. They hold placards and a banner that reads '12 deaths too many Mr Dutton. BRING THEM HERE'

[imagecaption] People gather outside Coroner’s Court, Brisbane 2016. Photos: Mark Gillespie. A poster placed on the pavement with two candles places either side and a bouquet of flowers below it. The piece of paper has a black and white photo of Hamid in the centre and reads 'Remember Hamid Khazaei. A victim of systemic neglect' The Inquest findings into the death of Hamid Khazaei were handed down by State Coroner Terry Ryan in Brisbane as Fazel Chegeni Nejad’s Coronial Inquest began in Perth. The specific circumstances surrounding each death differed however both must be understood in the context of Australia’s mandatory detention and offshore processing regimes. [/imagecaption]


In his findings Coroner Ryan unequivocally recognized the role that the Australian government played in Hamid Khazaei’s death and characterised it as ‘preventable’. He found that at various points, Hamid was provided with inadequate medical care and pointed to systemic failures that contributed to his death.

The Coroner considered that while inquiry into Australia’s offshore processing policy generally was outside of the scope of the inquest, ‘the fact that Mr Khazaei’s death occurred in the context of offshore processing cannot be overlooked’. He stated that the Australian government retains responsibility for the care of people who have been relocated offshore and recommended that ‘the approval process for medical transfers should be led by persons located in regional processing countries with clinical training in emergency medicine’ and that all deaths of asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru be subject to an independent judicial investigation. The inquest findings were largely an affirmation of what lawyers, independent medical experts and advocates have said regarding how the health of refugees and people seeking asylum exiled on Manus and Nauru is compromised by the systems in place, particularly those which prioritise bureaucratic and political imperatives over peoples’ clinical needs.



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