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Centacare Adelaide tells why asylum seeker committed suicide

A letter to an asylum seeker from the government offering voluntary return to Afghanistan was the 'final straw' that led to suicide, according to Centacare executive director Dale West.

Mr West said the 46-year-old man committed suicide on last Monday at Murray Bridge, where he had been working as part of his temporary protection visa (TPV) arrangements.

Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said he was saddened by the death.

The man had been detained in the Port Hedland detention centre for six months before being issued a TPV almost three years ago.

"It's mental jail having a TPV hanging over your head," said Mr West. "There are a lot of people who are in the same circumstance."

The Afghan community was concerned more asylum seekers would take their life, Mr West said.

Mr Ruddock said the letter could not be blamed for triggering the man's death. He said there are many support services available to TPV holders.

Sydney Morning Herald

Death of a Refugee - Memorial Service
Otherway Aboriginal Catholic Ministry | Afghani Refugees | Is Afghanistan safe? |
Centacare Adelaide
Centacare director pressuring Govt to release detention centre video (8/11/02)
Aboriginal Ministry priest in appeal for Afghan detainee (2/10/02)

10 Feb 2003