Iranian Man Found Hanged on Manus Island Was Talented Musician

StoryfulNewsPublished: August 16, 2017
Published: August 16, 2017

A video has emerged of Hamed Shamshiripour, the Iranian-born man who was found, on August 7, hanged from a tree near a refugee transit centre on Manus Island, playing guitar while he was in Melbourne for medical treatment after a 2014 riot. Storyful cannot confirm the date of the video, but is believed to be sometime after March 2014 when he was flown to Australia for medical treatment, according to friends and family. According to activists, Hamed was injured during the February 2014 riots on Manus Island that led to the murder of asylum seeker Reza Barati. He had reportedly undergone orthopaedic surgery and resided in the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation in Broadmeadows, Victoria until he was deported back to Manus Island the following March. Refugees on Manus Island, who were shown the video of Hamed playing, confirmed it was him and lamented the mentally unstable man he became shortly before his death. During his time in Australia, Shamshiripour told activists and his family in Iran he was disturbed by the events on Manus Island. It is not known whether he received mental health treatment during his time in Australia, but reports from The Guardian and Junkee indicated government was made aware of his deteriorating mental health at least a year before he was found hung outside Lorengau in Papua New Guinea. Shamshiripou, originally from Gachsaran County in Iran, was described by friends as a “gentle, quiet and serious” man. Kurdish journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani said, in a piece for the Huffington Post, Shamshiripour was a passionate musician who was mistreated by authorities who failed to give him adequate care. The family lawyer for the Shamshiripour family, George Newhouse, told Storyful they are trying to repatriate Hamed’s body to Australia for an independent autopsy to determine the cause of death. While PNG Police ruled out foul play, Newhouse said the Australian and PNG governments have not committed to disclosing witness statements and documents. Credit: Shamshiripour family via Storyful

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