MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - There have been several cases in recent weeks when asylum seekers in Australia have been detained and set to be forcibly repatriated to their home countries, with some of the detainees diagnosed with mental health issues, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported Thursday.
"Detaining those people in circumstances where they've then got fears about being returned to the country from which they came is not going to improve their mental health and in fact make it worse," Greg Barns from the Australian Lawyers Alliance said as quoted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Barns claimed that some of those people have lived in Australia for years and have become part of local communities.
In response, an Australian Immigration Department spokeswoman rejected all claims and said that the detained people were not identified as asylum seekers and that it was time for them to go home.
According to the Australian Refugee Council, in 2013 the country received over 15,800 asylum applications and recognized over 8,500 asylum seekers as refugees. The UN high commission for refugees statistics indicate that there are 30,000 refugees living in Australia. Relative to the country's geographical size that gives Australia one of the lowest rates in the industrialized world. Over 3,000 people are currently placed in immigration detention facilities in Australia.