Remembering Hamid Khazaei: the young detainee failed by Australia's 'outstanding care'

Dr Barri Phartarfod reflects on her experience so far at the first sitting of the Hamid Khazaei Coronial inquest in a recent article published by the Sydney Morning Herald (click here to read further).

"I wonder if his death would have been easier to endure if Hamid had been elderly or suffering from some chronic medical condition. Quite possibly, as we simply don't want to acknowledge the hideous truth: that this young man died because our government – or those to whom it outsources healthcare – has a cavalier disregard for the welfare of those it imprisons."

"Most harrowing has been the voice recordings of the doctors advising the urgent evacuation of this dying young man – especially now that we know the outcome we all wish we could change."

"That Hamid had been routinely described as "pleasant, co-operative … a model transferee" somehow adds to the tragedy, as it seems that nothing these individuals can ever do could affect their fate. They are tragic pawns in this monstrous political game. And this is why doctors need to remain here in court and elsewhere – to constantly challenge this dangerous and unethical practice of offshore detention."

Dr Barri Phatarfod Speaks at the Sydney Vigil for Faysal Ishak Ahmed- The Latest Tragic Victim of Offshore Detention

Live footage from the Sydney Vigil including a highly emotive speech by Doctors For Refugees Co Founder Dr Barri Phatarfod [click for video] (Courtesy of People Just Like Us)

Please Sign this Petition and Share Widely

The Australian Border Force is currently phasing in a ban on the use and possession of mobile phones in Australian Immigration Detention Centres (IDCs). A complete ban is scheduled by February 2017. See New measures to combat illegal activity within immigration detention facilities.

Blue Mountains Refugee Support group have started an online petition to oppose the mobile phone ban. Mobiles being banned in IDCs will have detrimental effects on people's health, who rely on them to contact family abroad, friends in the community, their lawyers and also to alert others to their medical conditions that are not being treated.

Please click here to sign and share the petition.

Ongoing Action

1. Hamid Khazaei Coronial Inquest: Doctors for Refugees will be appearing at the second and final sitting of this inquest in February 2017.

2. The Continued Challenge to the Australian Border Force Act: Last year, following the action of Doctors For Refugees and the Fitzroy Legal Centre, the Federal government amended the Border Force Act to exempt Health Professionals from criminal prosecution for reporting abuse or neglect to individuals in detention. This notably did not include teachers, social workers or other guardians. Doctors For Refugees will continue its challenge to the Australian Border Force Act so that teachers, social workers or other guardians are also included in exemption from criminal prosecution.

3. Senate inquiry into serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of Asylum Seekers in relation to Nauru and Manus Island:
Doctors For Refugees has entered a submission to the Senate referencing clinical cases referred to us that demonstrate the abuse of asylum seekers in offshore immigration detention centres, medical negligence and deterioration in mental health of individuals who have self-harmed as a result of their prolonged detention. The  Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry  will present their report by 30 March 2017. Current submissions may be accessed at: 
If you are interested in any of the above or would like to get involved with any of Doctors for Refugees work, please email

Upcoming Events

8/4/17  Palm Sunday Refugee Rally, across the country
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