The family of the Iranian asylum seeker Hamed Shamshiripour have formally requested his body be brought to Australia from Papua New Guinea for an autopsy, saying foul play could not be ruled out in his death.
Shamshiripour’s body was found on Monday in forest near to the refugee transit centre on Manus Island where he was being held. The 31-year-old – whose acute and worsening mental health issues had been raised within the highest echelons of the Australian immigration department – had been missing since Saturday.
Police have said Shamshiripour’s death was suicide, but his family in Iran has demanded an urgent autopsy, following by an inquest in Australia to determine the cause, timing and circumstances of his death. They want an assurance his body is being kept in mortuary-like conditions, and have asked that it be returned to Iran after the autopsy.
Professor George Newhouse from the National Justice Project, which is acting for the Shamshiripour family, said they sought only a transparent process to investigate their son’s death.
“Hamed’s declining health had been monitored by Border Force and was known to Comcover – I can understand why people are demanding that they be held responsible for the inaction that led to his death.
“Our leaders are implicated in Hamed’s death. Government officials knew about his fragile condition and they left him there to die.
“But there is a paper trail in this case that must be followed and we will not rest … the family want justice and they want those responsible to be held accountable even if that goes all the way to the prime minister and the minister for immigration.”
Photos are in circulation purportedly showing Shamshiripour’s body when it was found. The Guardian has chosen not to publish these, and they are not conclusive about the circumstances of his death.
The photos show injuries that may have occurred before death. The position in which Shamshiripour’s body was found has also raised…