PROTESTS SUCCEED: Baby Asha Avoids Nauru, Will Enter Community Detention

The conflict between medical personnel at Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital and the Immigration Department regarding the case of Baby Asha has come to a head, with Queensland Health confirming the child will be released from the hospital in the next 24 hours. 

And she’s not on the first flight to Nauru. 

Refugee advocates have already chalked the decision up as a massive win for protesters and medical staff involved with Baby Asha’s case.

#babyasha is safe!Baby Asha will not be sent to #Nauru, Peter Dutton confirms. Mum and Bub to live in Brisbane…

Posted by Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) on Saturday, 20 February 2016

The announcement comes after Peter Dutton confirmed the one-year-old refugee will be placed in community detention with her family earlier today.

At a press conference, the Immigration Minister said the doctors who had previously refused to discharge the child over fears she’d be taken back to detention on Nauru agreed to discharge her, under the condition of a local placement. 

Compared to the abhorrent conditions reported in Australia’s offshore detention facilities, the Australian Human Rights Commission has previously championed this form of detention as “more closely aligned with international human rights law and standards than models of indefinite closed immigration detention,” while also providing “for far more humane treatment of people seeking protection.”

That doesn’t mean she’s set to avoid offshore detention forever, though. Not at all.

Dutton told reporters “at some point, if people have matters finalised in Australia, they will be returning to Nauru,” while also reiterating the government’s approach to the matter by saying no “special treatment” would be exhibited in her case. 

The news comes after protesters flooded the hospital site following rumours guards were preparing to remove the child. At the demonstration’s peak, hundreds surrounded the hospital’s exit points in an effort to bar her possible removal.

Dutton didn’t finish his conference without taking aim at those same protesters, who he accused of “misreporting” the issue. 

“I’m not sure if they are interested in the best interests of the child. I am,” the minister said. 

There’s no word on what this means for the other 267 asylum seekers currently on Australian shores, either. For now though, medical staff and protesters can take this one as a win. 

Souce: ABC / SBS / The Guardian. 
Ben Phillips / Twitter.