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Follow the Hashtag

#Only19: Social media supports Nauru asylum seeker after suicide attempt

On social media, users paid tribute to a young Somali asylum seeker who tried to commit suicide by immolating herself in an Australian detention camp in the island of Nauru.

On Monday, a Somali woman named Hodan by refugee aid groups, attempted suicide by setting herself on fire while detained on the pacific island of Nauru, which the Australian government is using as an offshore base for processing asylum seekers.

On social media, users paid tribute to the gravely injured woman. With the hashtag #only19 - based on initial reports of her age - they told personal stories of what they were doing at that same age. The goal was to highligt the inequality of opportunity suffered by asylum seekers.

Many users moved beyond a mere tribute and discussed Canberra’s much-criticized asylum policy.

The young woman was the second asylum seeker to attempt suicide in Nauru in a week. A 23-year-old Iranian man named as Omid Masoumali recently died after also setting himself ablaze.

The victim was reportedly treated by an Australian emergency medical team before being airlifted to a hospital in Brisbane, in eastern Australia, where she is still in critical condition.

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