Coroner to investigate tragic death of refugee Omid Masoumali

Coroner to investigate tragic death of refugee Omid Masoumali

The inquest into the death of 23-year-old refugee Omid Masoumali who was detained on Nauru will commence in the Coroners Court of Queensland in Brisbane on Monday 25 February.

Omid and his partner fled their country in search of safety. Instead the Australian Government detained them on Nauru where they spent almost three years in limbo, in conditions described by the United Nations as 'cruel, inhumane and degrading'.

Omid self-immolated at a refugee settlement site on Nauru in April 2016. He died two days later from his injuries in a Brisbane hospital. His transfer by air ambulance for urgent medical treatment in Australia took almost 24 hours.

Omid’s partner will be represented at the Inquest by Sarah Atkinson, Medical Negligence Principal Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. The Human Rights Law Centre are part of the legal team assisting his partner, led by Director of Legal Advocacy, Katie Robertson.

Sarah Atkinson, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, said:

"We welcome the Coroner examining the medical treatment that Omid received after his self-immolation at the Nauru hospital where he remained for almost 24 hours before being airlifted to Brisbane."

"What we know is that quick evacuation is extremely important when dealing with patients with serious and complex injuries, like those sustained by Omid. It is therefore vitally important that the medical evacuation process works properly."

Katie Robertson, Human Rights Law Centre, said:

"It’s tragedies like this one that remind us why we must embrace compassion, decency and humanity; the very things that Omid was denied. It’s a devastating reminder of how the Australian Government has inflicted so much harm to the innocent men, women and children who have come to our shores seeking safety and freedom."

"A young man lost hope, he lost a chance for a better future and ultimately, he lost his life. And a young woman lost her partner – a man she described as her breath, her hope, her life and her base. Nothing can change the past. But lessons can be learnt. Changes can and must be made."

For interviews call:

Michelle Bennett, Human Rights Law Centre: 0419 100 519
Jacob O’Shaughnessy, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers: 0428 814 037