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Refugee Dies On Nauru After Suspected Heart Attack

It is the second death of a refugee in a month.
Protesters stand outside Nauru detention centre in April.
Protesters stand outside Nauru detention centre in April.

A refugee has died in a Nauru hospital from a suspected heart attack, in the second death to rock Australia's offshore processing centres in a month.

The 26-year-old Bangladeshi man, known as Rakib, admitted himself to a Nauru hospital on Monday complaining of chest pains but died early on Wednesday before he could be airlifted to Australia.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said an air ambulance had been dispatched but the man died at the Republic of Nauru Hospital.

"The man's condition precluded his transfer from hospital to the aircraft and Australia," the Department statement said.

"Authorities are looking to contact the man's family and are providing appropriate support to his friends in Nauru."

However, reports are emerging from refugees on Nauru saying the man had overdosed on medication, including panadol, which could have contributed to his death.

The Refugee Action Coalition spokesperson Ian Rintoul told The Huffington Post Australia an independent investigation into the death "is needed more than most".

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has also called for an independent investigation, bringing into question the speed of the hospital's response.

A spokesperson from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection told HuffPost Australia it is aware of reports the death "was a result of a suicide attempt".

"There is currently no evidence to supports these claims," the spokesperson said.

"The Department rejects outright claims of a 'cover-up by the Australian Border Force'."

On Tuesday night, three men -- including one refugee and one asylum seeker -- were visiting Rakib in hospital when they were reportedly attacked and robbed by local men.

Both Manus Island and Nauru have been embroiled in controversy over the past month after Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court ruled Manus Island illegal. But Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has stood firm on the Federal Government's border protection policies since the ruling.

In April, a 23-year-old Iranian man died after setting himself on fire in Nauru. The man was taken to the Republic of Nauru Hospital and then airlifted to a Brisbane Hospital where he died. Days later a 21-year-old Somali woman was hospitalised after setting herself alight in Nauru.

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