MUA condemns death in detention.
"The suicide of an asylum seeker in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre yesterday is another tragic example of the brutal and devastating impact Australia's immigration system is having on peoples lives," Sydney Branch Secretary of Maritime Union of Australia Paul McAleer said.
"It is understood the Fijian man believed to be in his mid thirties was to be deported this morning.
"He is reported to have died after throwing himself from a staircase in stage 2 of the detention centre.
"The Australian Government has to stop playing with people's lives like this. The inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees under the Howard Government was enough for a lifetime.
"These people are fleeing from the most horrifying circumstances and then when they manage to survive the dangerous boat ride to Australia we put them through a traumatic process of mandatory detention and delayed processing for months and sometimes over a year.
"I was at Villawood yesterday as part of a union delegation and spoke to asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Iraq.
"They spoke about the constant fear and anxiety they have not knowing if they will be deported back to the very regime they are running away from or if their families are safe and sometimes even alive.
"The Australian Government needs to shut down Christmas Island and all the remote detention centres in Australia, which are only serving as a breeding ground for mental illness.
"We need to bring them onshore and have a quick system of humane community based processing.
"We also needs to lift this absurd halt on processing asylum seekers from Afghanistan - a country which is far from safe or stable," Mr McAleer said