Australia under pressure to free detained refugee family

Australia under pressure to free refugee family detained on Christmas Island
Mother Priya accompanied her youngest child Tharnicaa to hospital in Perth. HOME TO BILO
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Daily US Times: Australia is under pressure to release a refugee family from a Christmas Island detention centre. The pressure came after the family’s three-year-old child had to be medically evacuated to the mainland.

Tharnicaa Murugappan was taken to a Perth hospital after being unwell with a fever, dizziness and vomiting.

Advocates say she has since been diagnosed with pneumonia and sepsis, and is in a stable condition.

But they criticized the delay in obtaining adequate medical care.

Tharnicaa had been sick for about 10 days before Australian authorities took her to the hospital on Christmas Island, and later transferred her to Perth hospital.

Priya Nadesalingdram, her mother, said she had repeatedly asked for hospital treatment and medicines, but doctors only gave her ibuprofen pills and paracetamol.

Australian authorities have defended the level of care given to the family on the island, claiming that Tharnicaa had received treatment on Christmas Island “consistent with medical advice”.

A spokesperson said that the Australian Border Force strongly denies any allegations of inaction or mistreatment of individuals in its care.

The three-year-old’s medical evacuation has reignited their case for asylum and public concern for the family.

The refugee family, Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka, arrived by boat in Australia nearly a decade ago seeking asylum.

They settled in the Queensland country town of Biloela, where their two girls, Kopika and Tharnicaa, 6, were born.

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