Nauru ‘Suicide Island’ Refugee Sets Himself On Fire, But Social Media Has No Sympathy

The Sydney Morning Herald reported just minutes ago that yet another refugee from the quarantined island Nauru has committed suicide, furthering the trend of the island’s residents developing bizarre mental health issues that cause them to commit suicide in unexpected ways.

Pictures released of the graphic suicide are shown on the site, and they are shocking to say the least.

The island has, for years, acted as a depository for immigrants to Australia who are not allowed to take up normal residence in the country because of Australia’s very strict immigration policies.

The island is not quite welcoming, though. In fact, reports NEWS, many of the refugees being held there go crazy and end up committing suicide in unconventional and often eerie ways.

Children are the ones who suffer the most from the suicide island’s insanity-inducing effects, with The Guardian reporting that almost half of the children who leave Nauru alive have developed serious mental disorders while on the island.

Dr. Brayley, one of the medical officers overseeing the island of Nauru, states that this is because being kept in captivity has negative repercussions on the human mind, and those negative effects take an especially large toll on the more malleable minds of children.

“The scientific evidence is that detention affects the mental state of children. It’s deleterious and wherever possible children should not be in detention,” Brayley said.

He went on to explain that his claims are based on results of experiments the Australian Human Rights Commission has been conducting on the island for years with the help of “robust tools.”

Despite what Brayley may say, though, children are certainly not the only ones on whom being contained on the suicide island is having disastrous psychological effects.

Many of Nauru’s refugee residents arrive at the island having undergone extremely traumatic experiences in their home countries, which are likely the reasons they emigrated in the first place. Those pre-existing issues, combined with the island’s isolation and harsh conditions, have driven an unbelievably high percentage of people who spend time on Nauru to develop severe mental health problems. In many cases, reports RNZ, the island’s residents have been known to commit mass suicides through inexplicable and painful means, such as ingesting copious amounts of washing powder.

That was the case with the island’s most recent casualty, a male adult refugee who burned himself to death as an act of protest on Wednesday morning. The man’s self-sacrifice was timed to coincide with a United Nations Refugee Agency inspection of living conditions on the island.

Although the suicide was meant as an act of solidarity to raise awareness of the island inhabitants’ plight, though, social media’s response was anything but supportive. Most people who commented on the horrifying images, in fact, said that the island resident who had committed suicide was an “idiot” just “looking for attention.”

Harsh.

Although fewer and further in between, some users saw the grisly island suicide as a call to action.

What are your thoughts on this graphic incident? Leave them in the comments section below.

[Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images]