Refugees being held offshore are being encouraged to self-harm to take advantage of medical evacuation laws, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has claimed.
Mr Dutton has accused refugee advocates of advising refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to hurt themselves so they can be flown to Australia for treatment.
“People have come to our country, people have self-harmed on advice from some of the refugee groups or advocates, people have self-harmed in significant numbers,” he told Sydney’s 2GB radio on Thursday.
“They’ve done that because of this (medical evacuation) bill that Labor introduced.”
Laws passed against the Morrison government’s wishes earlier this year gave doctors a greater say in transferring refugees and asylum seekers being held offshore to Australia for medical treatment.
Mr Dutton is now trying to repeal the legislation.
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