Sri Lankan woman fighting deportation forcibly removed from Australian hospital

A Sri Lankan mother whose Tamil family have been accused by Peter Dutton of wasting $10million in taxpayer money by fighting deportation from Australia has reportedly been dragged from hospital by Border Force guards.

Priya Murugappan – who is being detained on Christmas Island with her husband Nades and her two young daughters at an estimated cost of $20,000 a day – was flown to Perth’s Fiona Stanley Hospital 10 days ago with severe abdominal pain.

Refugee advocates claim the mother had been told she would be returned to the detention centre on Friday after being monitored for two additional days in a hotel.

But Tamil Refugee Council spokesman Aran Mylvaganam said the mother-of-two was forcibly removed from the hospital on Wednesday by as many as 15 Border Force personnel.

He said she had to be taken to the mainland for a CT scan which doctors could not carry out on Christmas Island.

‘I spoke to Priya when she was dragged away by at least 10 guards and the Border Force told Priya that she was being taken to the airport,’ Mr Mylvaganam told 9News.

‘It’s hard to see why up to 15 guards were required today. Priya would not have resisted being returned to Christmas Island, she is an unwell woman who was desperately missing her little girls.’

Mr Mylvaganam also claimed the mother was denied access to her own discharge summary by the ABF guards.

‘Lawyers acting on behalf of Priya and her family had no indication that this sudden removal was taking place,’ he said.
The family’s representatives said Ms Murugappan had since been put on a charter flight back to the island following the dramatic intervention about 11am on Wednesday.

A Department of Home Affairs spokesman has confirmed the mother was discharged from the hospital but said it did not comment on individual cases.

The family have been on Christmas Island since August after first being taken into detention in 2018.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton wants them to go back to Sri Lanka – where they fear persecution – and has said the parents are being ‘unfair on their children’ for fighting deportation.

In an interview with Daily Mail Australia this week, the family’s lawyer, Carina Ford, said it was actually Mr Dutton who was costing the taxpayer by refusing to let the family come back to the mainland while their case is pending.

‘The same argument applies that he’s being unfair by detaining them, it’s as simple as that,’ she said.