Lawyers for Rakib Khan’s family asked the Queensland coroner to hold an inquest as his body was transported through Brisbane.

Begum spends most of her day every day in front of his brother’s grave, Uddin said. “She always says to me, I have one question, I want a judgement in my lifetime,” he said. “Physically she is very ill, very weak.”
The Australian government has previously rebuffed suggestions it should hold an inquiry into Khan’s death, saying that Khan was on Nauru when he died and that it is a matter for that country.
Begum’s lawyers argue Khan’s death needs to be investigated because he died after seeking medical treatment at a regional processing facility, was treated by Australian doctors there, and died while being medically transferred to Australia for emergency treatment. As well, they contend the Australian government should have reported the death at the time Khan’s body was moved through Brisbane on its way to Bangladesh.
The letter also cites the fact that Khan’s cause of death remains unknown despite an autopsy, and that there are conflicting accounts of events leading up to his death.
Representatives from Australia’s home affairs department were asked about Khan’s death at a Senate Estimates session in March, taking on notice a question about what inquiries the Australian government made with Nauru about the death.
In a response published earlier this month, the department said it “engaged with the government of Nauru” in 2016 and 2017, and pointed to the fact it had engaged a forensic pathologist to conduct a post-mortem.
“The department was provided a copy of the post-mortem report on 2 December 2016,” the response said. “The cause of death was unascertained.”
Begum’s lawyers, from the National Justice Project, declined to comment to BuzzFeed News because the matter is currently before the coroner. In the letter, they say it is in the public interest for the coroner to investigate.
“Mr Khans death raises serious issues around the medical treatment of detainees held [on] Nauru and recommendations made by you will have the public benefit of potentially preventing future deaths [like] that of Mr Khan from happening again,” it reads. Around 200 refugees and asylum seekers remain on Nauru.
The state coroner, Terry Ryan, previously conducted a public inquiry into the death of Hamid Khazaei, who was detained on Manus Island. His 2018 report included a recommendation that the Commonwealth government establish and fund a mechanism to ensure deaths of refugees and asylum seekers held offshore would be the subject of independent inquiries by judges.
The government later declined to follow the suggestion.