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Nauru Rape Victim Denied Much-Needed Medical Attention From Australia

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The horrific emotional and physical state of an African refugee from Nauru, who has become pregnant after being raped, has recently been denied much-needed medical attention from Australia.


A senior official within the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, David Nockel’s, stood by his harsh judgement, despite advice from five medical experts saying that assistance in Australia is essential. International Health and Medical Services (IHMS), contracted by the Australian government, also wrote to the official, explaining that the woman required an urgent abortion.

The woman, identified only as S99, was tragically raped after falling unconscious as a consequence of one of her seizure episodes, and woke to disturbing blood and male discharge. IHMS said this has led to severe post-traumatic stress. The woman has since pleaded with Australian authorities for a safe abortion.

The initial problem  for ‘S99’ being in Nauru is their Criminal Code which reads:

“Any person who, with intent to procure the miscarriage of a woman … is liable to imprisonment with hard labour for fourteen years.”

Abortion being illegal in Nauru led authorities to send the woman to Papua New Guinea. The odd thing is that their Criminal Code aligns with Nauru’s standpoint regarding abortion. Abortion is not permitted in the case of “rape and incest”.

In addition, the medical facilities provided by The Pacific International Hospital (PIH) and Port Moresby were unable to attend the needs of the woman, particularly in assisting her suspected epilepsy. Whether you’re a medical professor or not, you can see that Nockel’s decision was not the right one.


Sydney Morning Herald reported that Nockels, sought advice from Mathias Sapuri, a senior consultant, obstetrician and gynecologist, at PIH hospital who just so happens to be a shareholder of the hospital …join the dots.

The woman has spent over a month in limbo in a Port Moresby hotel room. Ron Merkel, the woman’s barrister told the court the woman had said last Thursday she felt she was “going crazy” and said she might hurt herself.

It’s speculated that a third country will now need to attend her termination. The complicated case continues.