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Mental Health

About Saeed

“Free Saeed Dezfouli” Campaign

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“I am a patient with patients’ rights, an inmate with inmates’ rights and a human being with human rights.

These rights have been fundamentally and severely violated by unprofessional and sadistic state government employees in the positions of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses and prison officers. They are required to go by the law, regulations, policy and procedures, codes of conduct practice and ethics, but they don’t”

Saeed Dezfouli

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Iranian Embassy Concerned About Saeed

Iranian Embassy expresses concerns to Minister Dutton and Premier Berejiklian about Saeed's life, safety and future in Australia.

See letter from Consulate Section of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Hon Peter Dutton MP (Minister for Home Affairs) and The Hon Gladys Berejiklian (Premier of New South Wales).

 

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Media Release: Saeed is refused computer and law access

Media release Wednesday May 16, 2018
As with Saeed Dezfouli, the callous disrespect exposed in Lismore Hospital to dying Miriam Merten will continue. Nothing in Health’s Implementation Plan will change the culture. There will be no ongoing objective accountability, no removal of legislative protections such as s.195 MH Act, no computers and phones in seclusion areas, no alternatives to forced treatment, and no independent consumer advocacy. The timetable shows no urgency for consumers getting on Committees and no structure for electing representatives. The endemic corruption of mental health, with noses in the NSW Health Department’s annual trough of $23 billion is disgraceful to all those who don’t demand structural changes after such an exposure.

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Iran tells Mental Tribunal: "Unfair"

Mr Saeed Dezfouli is a dual Iranian and Australian citizen who has been indefinitely detained in the clogged and inhuman mental health system of NSW since January 2002. He is protesting against being physically and mentally tortured, sexually harassed and assaulted by NSW prison officers and staff of Justice Health. In response, he renounced his Australian citizenship in August 2017 to repatriate to Iran, despite coming to Australia as a refugee in 1983.

Mr Dezfouli’s treating psychiatrist Dr. Sathish Dayalan and the President of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal Mr Richard Cogswell have set requirements in order to issue the repatriation order of Mr Dezfouli to Iran. The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to apprehend Mr Dezfouli on arrival in Iran and confine him to a secure mental health facility until released by due process of the law in Iran.

The Iranian embassy, in a letter to Richard Cogswell, has found this recommendation of the Mental Health Tribunal to be unlawful, unfair and concerning for the Iranian government to do this to its own citizen. Now, Mr Dezfouli remains indefinitely within the maximum security mental health system of NSW.

In his letter to Richard Cogswell, Mr Dezfouli has stated that, if by 1200 hours on the 7th of March, his unconditional repatriation order is not issued by the Tribunal, he will commence a dry hunger strike (nil by mouth) and refuse all of his cardiac medication, which will result in his death. Mr Dezfouli is asking for the support of all the kind people in NSW to contact the President of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal Mr Richard Cogswell and express their support and concern for him. We support his desperate plea for help.

Comments: Brett Collins 0438 705 003

 

Iranian Embassy Statements and Other Correspondence

Mental Tribunal snubs Iranian representatives

Media release 14th March 2017 

"In a move that exposed the dishonesty of the forensic mental health system, the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal decided on March 10th to stall the repatriation of Mr. Saeed Dezfouli to Iran whilst it did more research into the Iranian mental health system and its adequacy. The decision demonstrates flagrant disrespect not only for the Iranian government, but also for Mr. Dezfouli’s family and the expert opinion of his care workers. In April 2016 the Tribunal stated that “we would do whatever we could.... To help get [Mr. Dezfouli] home” and emphasised that they desired a quick resolution to the issue. Now it realises that Saeed’s case and his mistreatment highlights the system’s endemic failure" said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.

“The Tribunal’s justification for postponing its decision for another six months is that additional research into treatment in Iran is required. This information could be easily ascertained in a phone call, and has already been supplied several times. The Tribunal would rather drag its feet trying to look responsible than accept its failure and allow him to be supported by his family in his homeland. This is shameful conduct at the highest level” said Mr. Collins.

"The latest Tribunal decision, chaired by President Richard Cogswell, starkly shows that its priorities lie with justifying their ineffective treatment of Mr. Dezfouli. His sole wish is to reunite with his sister and ailing mother in Iran. The hearing on Friday was the second time representatives of the Iranian consulate have travelled from Canberra to assist in Mr. Dezfouli’s case, only to have their competency questioned by the Tribunal. The Iranians have made clear their and Saeed’s family’s commitment and ability to provide community-based, rehabilitative support to Mr. Dezfouli. They are also providing travel documents" said Mr Collins.

"Saeed Dezfouli featured in the ABC program ‘The man without a name’. He challenged disrespect for his rights and exposed the system’s lack of accountability in three cases to the Supreme Court. Saeed, a gentle man, has been held for 15 years following an act punishable by 3 years. He remains in the highest security hospital costing taxpayers $300,000 a yearMr. Dezfouli continues to be denied the opportunity to return to his homeland, instead being held indefinitely as not guilty due to mental illness" said Mr Collins.   

"During his ‘treatment’ Mr. Dezfouli has been forcibly medicated, trialling 9 different medications, causing side effects including diabetes and heart disease. In March 2014 the Tribunal recommended that he have access to a consumer worker and a computer. After those recommendations were ignored by the hospital, the then Tribunal President said he was ‘disappointed’ and that ‘sometimes the system needs a kicking’. Three years later Saeed still has neither and he continues to get the kicking" said Mr Collins.

I will renounce my Australian citizenship and return to Iran to escape the torture at the hands of these doctors. I am still shocked at the culture of abuse in Australia's so-called health care. I feel sick in my stomach waiting for their poison to hit my brain. I have been physically and mentally tortured, sexually harassed and assaulted by prison officers and staff at mental health facilities. I have been used as a guinea pig by testing psychotic medications" said Mr. Dezfouli (see full statement here).

Tribunal supports repatriation 28 April 1016

Below is the formal response submitted to the Mental Health Review Tribunal
The JA media release is here.

Formal Primary Carer/Justice Action Proposals and Response to Justice Health Report
Submitted to Saeed Dezfouli Mental Health Review Tribunal Hearing, 28 April 2016

The Justice Health’s Report is clearly and demonstrably unfair. It has a negative slant toward all of Mr. Dezfouli’s behaviour, even when other interpretations of his behaviour are equally viable. This negative bias undermines the value judgments the Hospital makes where their expertise and discretions are officially adopted. Justice Health was required to provide Mr. Dezfouli with this Report two weeks before the Hearing. We would like to draw attention to the Tribunal that the Report was a week late and disadvantaged Saeed.

The former Mental Tribunal President Professor Dan Howard previously expressed his disappointment in the Health Department’s failure to implement Tribunal recommendations for Saeed, stating that “sometimes the system needs a kicking.” Nevertheless, despite the Tribunal’s recommendations, the Report has dismissed Mr. Dezfouli’s lack of access to a consumer worker and a stand-alone computer as insignificant. This conduct by Justice Health is further evidence of an unfair and corrupt system, which misleads the people it is supposed to protect as well as the Tribunal itself.

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22nd July 2015: New Attacks: Saeed renounces citizenship

New attacks: Saeed renounces citizenship

"Saeed Dezfouli who featured in the ABC program ‘The man without a name’ has been attacked again by the hospital. They have just doubled his forced medication, threatened me personally with their Emergency Response Team and to exclude me as his primary carer. The hospital needs to crush him as he challenges their disrespect for his rights and exposes the system’s lack of accountability" said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.

I will renounce my Australian citizenship and return to the chaos of Iran to escape the torture at the hands of these doctors. The Iranian Consul-General just visited me for the purpose.  I am still shocked at the culture of abuse in Australia's so-called health care. I feel sick in my stomach waiting for their poison to hit my brain" said Saeed Dezfouli.  

"Over the last thirteen and a half years Saeed’s forced medication has been changed nine times.   On the 24th of June 2015, Saeed was injected with double the dose of Paliperidone on the order of psychiatrist Barbara Sinclair. On December 8th last year they injected him with Clopixol after he refused to meet with them. He had told them and the Mental Tribunal it was the drug he most feared. Have they no mercy or empathy?” asked Mr Collins.

"These attacks against Saeed are now being made against his support as well. Statewide Clinical Director Dr Tobias Mackinnon claimed that I had acted in a threatening manner by stamping my foot and pointing my finger, and that the ‘duress buttons’ were nearly pushed during a meeting. We had insisted that the Tribunal’s April 2014 recommended consumer worker support and computer access be given - still treated with contempt. The Emergency Response Team of ten nurses would have come in on me. He also threatened to remove our access to Saeed. Now the truth of their lies and brutality is seen. This correspondence is now exposed on our website” said Mr Collins. 

"Saeed is now preparing for his 4th Supreme Court appeal with a barrister currently being briefed. The Mental Health Review Tribunal is too weak to control the hospital, admitting that it has made no orders since 2009, despite Justice Lindsay’s decision that it was in a supervisory position over a patient’s detention, care and treatment. This job of ensuring mental health system accountability should not be left to an Iranian refugee” said Mr Collins.

Comments: Brett Collins 0438 705003

4th September 2014: MHRT Hearing

On 4 September 2014 the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) convened for Saeed Dezfouli. The hearing followed a series of meetings with the hospital that were held to address why key recommendations from the last MHRT hearing had not been implemented. Justice Health’s conduct during those negotiations demonstrated an absolute unwillingness to be held accountable for their actions and a cavalier approach to the implementation of MHRT recommendations. The Lindsay judgment giving power to the Tribunal had been ignored by the hospital. Here is our Media Release.

This report details the exchanges between Saeed, his primary carer and Justice Action Coordinator, Brett Collins, his treating team from Justice Health in the period between the publication of the MHRT decision on 2 May 2014 through to the most recent hearing on 4 September 2014. The first section of this report provides a background to the recent series of meetings and hearings, including an outline of media interest in Saeed and details of the meetings that occurred. Section 2 discusses the problems with with the MHRT report handed down on 26 August 2014. The third and final section details the issues with the subsequent Hearing on 4 September 2014.

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16th July 2015: Hospital doubles dosage and attacks Carer

Saeed Dezfouli who featured in the ABC program ‘The man without a name’ has been subjected to a series of new attacks against his personal support and bodily integrity.

On the 24th of June 2015, Saeed was injected with double the dose of Paliperidone on the order of psychiatrist Barbara Sinclair. On December 8th last year they injected him with Clopixol after he refused to meet with them. He had told them it was the drug he most feared said Mr. Collins.

Over the last thirteen and a half years, Saeed’s forced medication has been changed nine times. These attacks against Saeed are now being made against his supporters as well.

In a letter dated 28th May 2015, Clinical Director, Dr. Tobias Mackinnon claimed that Saeed’s Primary Carer, Brett Collins acted in a threatening manner and that the ‘duress buttons’ were nearly pushed during a meeting. This would have resulted in a team of ten nurses to be despatched to deal with a potentially violent threat. Dr. Mackinnon threatened to bring the Primary Carer relationship under review, and to exclude our access to Saeed and the forensic hospital said Mr. Collins.

This is an outrageous intimidation. Here is my response and what Dr. Mackinnon and the psychiatrist, Barbara Sinclair said. 

Saeed is now preparing for his 4th Supreme Court appeal with a barrister currently being briefed. The Mental Health Review Tribunal refuses to control the hospital not having given any orders since 2009.  It is clear that the Mental Health Review Tribunal’s refusal to make orders in the best interests of Saeed’s care and treatment suggests a failure to abide by their statutory obligations and an inability to act for the benefit of forensic patients.

I will renounce my Australian citizenship and return to the chaos of Iran in order to escape the torturous hands of these doctors. I met with the Consul-General this week. Feel sick in the stomach waiting for their poison to hit. It is such an abuse, and I need help from outside” (Saeed Dezfouli, 24th June 2015)

Justice Action will steadfastly support Saeed’s right to bodily integrity without interference, and pressure the Forensic Hospital to provide Saeed with consumer worker support and access to a computer – which it continues to neglect more than a year after the Tribunal made those recommendations on March 2014.

Professor Dan Howard, President of the Tribunal said in frustration that sometimes the system needs a kicking. Six months later when nothing had happened.

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