MELBOURNE, Australia — The Australian government said doctors were watching a Canadian citizen who is on a hunger strike to protest his imminent deportation from the country over visa problems.
Ziad Chebib said immigration officials told him Monday that he would be put on a plane for Vancouver on Wednesday.
“The Australian government has tried to wash their hands from any responsibility toward me at all and that is very, very sad,” Chebib told The Canadian Press by phone from the detention centre in Melbourne where he is currently awaiting deportation.
Chebib had not eaten any food since last Thursday, confining himself to drinking water and the occasional cup of coffee, saying he is in no condition to travel.
“(I feel) worn down by a ton of bricks,” he said.
An Australian immigration department spokesman, who didn’t want to be identified, said Monday that both detention centre and health professionals were keeping an eye on his condition, but no immediate intervention was planned.
“We would wait for a medical professional’s advice as to what action we might take if he chooses to continue not eating,” the spokesman said. “It would obviously be a significant period of time beyond now if he’s drinking water before something along those lines would need to be considered.”