Battered Manus Island detainees spirited away

In the photograph taken before he left Iran, Reza Soleimani looked happy and healthy, a young man with high hopes for his future.

But within a few months of being on Manus Island, the man who became known by his identity number GDD049 had suffered a mental breakdown. He was removed from the centre and his friends and family now had no idea where he was.

The photos of Mr Soleimani are just some of the graphic images obtained by The Sun-Herald that have been smuggled out of the detention centre in a desperate attempt to show the world the plight of the detainees.

The images show the injuries suffered by detainees in the February attacks in the centre, and for which detainees say they have not received proper medical treatment.

Asylum seeker advocates have also expressed concerns for another Iranian man, Reza Sayahi. Known by the identity number EDE025, he was also removed from the centre and his friends and family had no idea where he was. He had been suffering from a severe ear infection that became so bad it affected his brain and his sight. Fellow detainees said Mr Sayahi was in Foxtrot compound on Manus Island before he was taken away and hadn't been seen since.

Other photographs smuggled out show detainees holding their identity cards and showing the wounds they suffered. The pictures show slashed throats, large machete cuts to the scalp, bruises and a bullet wound above the buttocks.

A spokesman for the Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison said mental health screening was provided regularly in line with the screening policies in operation in Australia.

“Transferees of concern are placed on elevated levels of support and monitoring," he said. “If a transferee is assessed by clinicians as having a mental health condition underlying their self-harming, they will receive appropriate support and may be transferred to the local hospital for treatment."

He also said transferees that needed to be to be relocated for specialist medical treatment were told before transfer and continued to have access to phones so they could communicate with family and friends.

But asylum seeker advocate Victoria Martin-Iverson said the detainees were routinely moved around without being told where they were going or why. She said their families were also not told of their whereabouts.

She said the case of Mr Soleimani revealed the stress of the environment and the effect it was having on the people held on Manus.

Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said the photographs were a demonstration of the brutality on Manus.

"Once proud men have been beaten and broken, both physically and mentally, on Manus Island," she said. "The camp is a breeding ground of tension and mental illness.''

The man who suffered the bullet wound was identified as Younes Savaeedi, identity number 073. He said his wound had been stitched but he said part of the bullet remained and he could not walk properly.

The story Battered Manus Island detainees spirited away first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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