Aug. 20th 2012
THE last asylum seeker to leave Nauru said life in the island detention camp was worse than living in war-torn Iraq.
Mohammed Sagar, 36, whose last five months of a five-year stay on Nauru were spent mostly alone, warned Prime Minister Julia Gillard she would be "stealing people's lives" after Labor's "horrible" policy backflip to reopen the detention centre it had campaigned against.
Claiming that he was still suffering from his years in detention, Mr Sagar said: "I remember when we were on Nauru, when there was an election we were hoping for a Labor Party win because they would take over and change things. Labor said there were human rights issues and Australia needed to have sympathy for people in need but this now just looks like political bullshit."
Mr Sagar, who has lived in Sweden since 2007 after the nation granted him residency, was intercepted on the "children overboard" boat in October, 2001, and was sent to Manus Island before arriving at Nauru in late 2002.
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ASIO then found him to be a security risk.
After he was granted refugee status by Sweden he unsuccessfully fought to find out why Australia deemed him a risk.
Mr Sagar said he fled Iraq fearing persecution, but the conditions and treatment on Nauru were far worse.
He said his accommodation was "worse than tents" in 30C-plus temperatures and he "almost died" on the island as he repeatedly suffered malaria, dengue fever and psychiatric problems.
He was later diagnosed in Sweden as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
"Inside it feels as terrible as it was five years ago," Mr Sagar, an IT specialist living in Stockholm, said.
"It is the worst experience. The damage is extremely severe and deep. You are dead. You do not feel alive.
Read the rest here: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/nauru-detainee-scarred-by-his-five-years-in-hell/story-fndo317g-1226453666581