Media Release: Dry Hunger Strike in Mental Hospital

Dry Hunger Strike in Mental Hospital

Media release: March 12, 2018

Saeed Dezfouli feels betrayed by the Mental Health Review Tribunal. “I am left with no other alternative but to commence a dry hunger strike (nil by mouth) to protest the inhumane behavior of the NSW Mental Health System” said Mr Dezfouli. He is currently on his 6th day of the strike.

“In April 2016 the Tribunal said it wanted to find a quick resolution to getting Saeed back home to Iran. However at a formal hearing on the 23rd of February 2018, the President of the Tribunal Richard Cogswell set new conditions for an order for Saeed’s repatriation to Iran. He insisted that on arrival Iranian authorities must apprehend Saeed and incarcerate him in a secure mental health facility. However the Iranian Embassy said in writing December 20, 2017 to Mr Cogswell that it would be ‘unlawful, unfair and immoral’ for the Iranian government to deprive Saeed from his rights to freedom in Iran. Sharia Law entitles him to a fair go it said. And he has family and a psychiatrist to assist him voluntarily if he needs that”

“Saeed also wants to expose the institutionalised ‘sit down, put up and shut up’ policy occurring in the hospital in regards to forced medication. In contradiction to providing the “best possible care and treatment” as required under s 68 of the Mental Health Act 2007, the hospital’s forced medication has caused him to develop diabetes and heart disease. During his ‘treatment’ Saeed has been forcibly medicated trialling nine different medications, often being restrained by eight nurses to be injected. Currently he is refusing all of his cardiac medications for his heart disease, which the clinicians will cause his death” 

Mr Saeed Dezfouli used to be a dual Iranian and Australian citizen, but in August 2017 he successfully renounced his Australian citizenship to repatriate to Iran. This was done in protest against his indefinite detainment in the inhumane NSW mental health system since 2002. If Saeed were tried through the criminal justice system he would have served three and a half years in prison, however he has served over 16 years. Despite ongoing reviews with the Mental Health Review Tribunal, Saeed is still being held in the maximum-security area at Long Bay Forensic Hospital. Here his legal, civil and human rights have been abused to the point where Saeed has expressed that ‘death is better than what I am experiencing’” 

“If I die in here, I hope that just like the death of Miriam Merton in Lismore Base Mental Hospital in June 2014, my death also results in reforming NSW’s dysfunctional and corrupt mental health system and tribunal. I hope no other human being or forensic patient ever has to experience what I have observed and experienced” said Mr Dezfouli.

For comment:  Brett Collins 0438 705 003

Leave a Comment