At least four refugees in Australia’s offshore Pacific camps have attempted suicide since the conservative government’s shock re-election Saturday, according to refugees, advocates and police.
Around 800 would-be refugees who tried reach Australia have been sent to live in severe conditions on the remote islands of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus under a hardline policy from Canberra.
Many had prayed for a more lenient policy from Labor, who had been strongly tipped to win.
But an unexpected victory by Scott Morrison’s centre-right coalition has dashed hopes and set off a wave of self-harm including several hospitalisations.
“I know that many people in Australia are in shock right now and sad and upset because of the election,” prominent Kurdish author and asylum-seeker Behrouz Boochani told AFP.