Manus Island: Refugee held by Australia found dead

The detention centre on Manus Island Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australia has said it will close its detention centre in Papua New Guinea

A Sri Lankan refugee who was being detained by Australia in Papua New Guinea has been found dead.

The Tamil man, 32, died in a suspected suicide after receiving treatment for mental illness, refugee advocates said.

Australia controversially holds refugees and asylum seekers who arrive by boat in centres on PNG's Manus Island and the Pacific nation of Nauru.

Nine detainees have died since 2013 - including six at the Manus centre, which is due to close this month.

The latest death - the apparent suicide of a refugee - happened in Lorengau General Hospital early on Monday, Manus Island police commander David Yapu told the BBC.

In a brief statement, Australian authorities said they were "aware of the death" and directed questions to PNG.

In August, an Iranian asylum seeker, Hamed Shamshiripour, was also found dead on Manus Island.

Australia has said the centre will close by 31 October after a PNG court ruled it was unconstitutional to detain people there.

Last month, the US accepted the first of up to 1,250 refugees under a resettlement deal. Washington may ultimately approve fewer than that after vetting, and Australia has not said what will happen to those left behind.

In September, Canberra agreed to pay A$70m (£40m; $55m) to refugees and asylum seekers who said they had suffered mental and physical harm in detention.

Australia has frequently defended its offshore policy against criticism by maintaining it prevents deaths at sea and discourages people smugglers.