An Afghan doctor who was transferred to Australia from Manus Island for medical care has died in Brisbane.
Sayed Mirwais Rohani had been in Australia for around two years, after more than four years on Manus Island.
The 32-year-old Hazara man is believed to have taken his own life, and is the 13th death of a person sent to Manus Island or Nauru by Australia under its offshore immigration system.
Rohani’s father is a refugee living in the UK with his wife, and he travelled to Manus Island in 2016 seeking his son’s release to join him in the UK. The spokesman for the Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul, said that request was denied because Rohani was not a minor.
Guardian Australia understands Rohani’s mother was visiting her son this week, after being separated for several years, but was interstate when he died.
Beverly Holmes-Brown, an advocate who knew Rohani and his roommate well, described him as a “compassionate and kind man”.
A qualified doctor who studied in China, Rohani had wanted to treat local Manusians while he was being held there but wasn’t allowed, she said.
“He said these people had no medical care, I want to be useful while I’m here,” she said.
“I’ve never seen him angry. I’ve seen him very sad. He’s the kind of person your heart goes out to because he’s been shattered … His dream was to be with his family. He was trying to apply to be with his family in the UK, and to be a doctor.
“He was getting ready for his mum to come, and getting treats, he was excited to see her.”
Posting on Facebook, fellow refugee Farhad Rahmati said he was Rohani’s roommate for more than a year.
“I didn’t see anything but respect, morality and understanding. We shared same pain for long time, long enough to destroy someone’s life,” said Rahmati.
While on Manus, Rohani was one of the first people to move into the Lorengau transit centre accommodation, while the detention centre was still open. In 2015 he was arrested over an incident with his roommate, but the case was withdrawn on medical grounds. Two years later he was brought to Australia for treatment.
The Department of Home Affairs confirmed the death of an individual who was living in the community in Brisbane.
“We extend our sympathies to the individual’s family. To ensure we respect their privacy, no further information will be released,” a spokesman said.