A 21-year-old Somali refugee has set herself alight on Nauru in what is the second attempted self-immolation on the island in a week.
The Government of Nauru has issued a statement saying the woman suffered critical injuries and is being treated at the Nauru hospital by Australian doctors.
However, it has requested an emergency evacuation.
In its statement, the Nauruan government said it was “distressed” by what it described as a dreadful act and suggested refugee advocates, Australian politicians and human rights lawyers were in part to blame for giving the refugees false hope.
“These actions are purely and simply being taken because they believe that political protests will influence the Australian government and possibly help them gain entry to Australia,” it said.
“The Government of Nauru calls on all who care about these people to work with us in sending the message to refugees on Nauru that such drastic actions will not work, and to refrain from such protests.”
Refugee advocates said the young Somali refugee was one of three people returned to Nauru last week after receiving medical treatment in Australia.
The incident comes less than a week after a male Iranian refugee died after setting himself alight on Nauru.
Omid Masoumali, 23, set himself on fire last Wednesday in front of visiting United Nations representatives before dying on Friday in a Brisbane hospital.
A spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said they were “aware” of the latest incident.
“The Department is supporting the Government of Nauru to identify appropriate medical treatment options,” he said.