Faysal Ishak Ahmed, 27, from Sudan, collapsed at the Manus Island detention centre on 22 December 2016, after complaining for many months of heart pain and
other serious ailments. He was evacuated to Brisbane, but died on Christmas
Eve. The Immigration Department said Faysal had suffered a
seizure and that there were no suspicious circumstances.
Once in Manus detention centre, he began to experience
persistent abdominal pain and then severe heart problems. For the last six
months of his life he would visit the medical centre every day and beg for
said Faysal told them the medical clinic told him to stop
coming, and to stop pretending to be sick. A few
days later, Faysal collapsed for the last time. After 24 hours the centre
transferred him to Australia. The next day, news of his death was published in
the media (ABC News 25
December 2016, Guardian 30 December 2016).
Faysal was a young man whose life was full of pain; he spent
more than half his life in refugee camps. He waged and lost
his one great asset in trying to reach Australia: his life. The prophet Nathan's
story of the poor man whose only lamb was taken by the rich man (2 Samuel 12) demands
our reflection, our repentance.
Faysal could have been our brother, our son. What will happen now to his wife, his son?
The Australian Border Deaths Database puts the number at 33
deaths in onshore and offshore detention facilities since 2010.
Let us keep up the pressure on this government to close the
detention centres, and bring the detainees from Manus Island and Nauru to