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Iranian In Australian Detention Convicted Of Attempted Suicide

The conviction of an Iranian asylum seeker on charges of attempted suicide has sparked outrage from rights advocates and opposition politicians in Australia.

The man is being held in an Australian-run detention center on the South Pacific island nation of Nauru, about 3,000 kilometers northeast of Australia.

Suicide is considered a criminal offense in Nauru.

A government statement by Nauru said the Iranian man, who has an eight-year-old daughter in the detention center, pleaded guilty to the offense of attempted suicide on April 15 and was given a one-year suspended sentence.

"It's entirely inappropriate to make it a criminal offense to attempt suicide," Barri Phatarfod, from Doctors For Refugees, told the Australian TV station ABC.

"It just shows that the government's statement that the people in Nauru are going to be cared for by the same standards that we care for people in Australia is just an outright lie," he added.

Under Australia's tough immigration policy, asylum seekers attempting to reach the country by boat are intercepted and sent to camps on Nauru or on Manus island, in Papua New Guinea.

Human rights groups, including the UN refugee agency, have criticized the harsh conditions at the detention centers, which have sparked riots and "self-harm" protests.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP