Thursday, 11 August 2011 2:12 PM
MEDIA RELEASE FROM GERRY GEORGATOS AND THE HUMAN RIGHTS ALLIANCE:
MINISTER TERRY REDMAN, MINISTER SIMON O'BRIEN AND PREMIER BARNETT MUST RESIGN.
MINISTER CHRIS BOWEN, MINISTER BRENDAN O'CONNOR, ATTORNEY-GENERAL ROBERT MCCLELLAND MUST RESIGN.
PRIME MINISTER JULIA GILLARD HAS LIED TO THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE AND MUST RESIGN. MS GILLARD IMPRISONS CHILDREN IN ADULT PRISONS.
A YOUNG BOY IS IN HAKEA, I HAVE FOUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN TO HAVE HIM RELEASED OR BAILED INTO AN APPROPRIATE JURISDICTION AND CARE - Hadi Kurniawan languishes in HAKEA Correctional Facility, an adult prison - I have worked with his family, and fellow human rights advocates, in Indonesia to highlight his predicament, and so have other human rights advocates, such as Eko Waluyo and with scores of others, through Indonesian media and relevant authorities. Hadi's sister and brother have gone on Indonesian news media, his mother interviewed by various Australian media, his brother has sent a letter to our Prime Minister, I have spoken to the Prime Minister and spoken to or contacted EVERY relevant authority including Minister Redman, and everyone passed the buck and some have lied about the extent of their knowledge... We have provided adequate evidence to displace the presumption of evidence from the non-failsafe dodgy wrist bone age scan, and yet Hadi, and others languish in Australian adult prisons. This discrimination, racism and the consequent persecution must cease.
It is fact that every major federal political party has been aware for a very long time about the children in Australian adult prisons. It is a disgrace of the worst sort, a scandal-in-waiting, that no Australian Senator has raised a question in the Australian Senate about minors in our prisons. I have spoken to many of them or to their offices, and I have contacted every Australian Senator a number of times during the year about the fact that children are in Australian adult jails.
Minister Redman must resign. Premier Barnett must be brought to account. They have lied.
More importantly, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Ministers Chris Bowen, Brendan O'Connor and Robert Mcclelland must be brought to account and if they do not resign, then they must be censured and forced into resigning - they have known all along, and they have allowed the incarceration of these children knowing that indeed they are children. Prime Minister Gillard's smile, as we shook hands, and as we held the handshake while I spoke, froze to shaken silence as I described Hadi's plight and the fact she is Prime Minister of a country with adult jails full of 14, 15, 16, 17 year old impoverished children - and that she needs to expedite remedies.
This cannot be allowed to continue - what do we have to do?
I have long warned that not only has the WA State Parliament been misled and the people of Western Australia however our Prime Minister and various high level authorities have been fully aware and it is now time to bring them to account, they have misled their Parliaments, their Offices, the Australian public and the media, and probably their international counterparts - and most certainly we must free these children en masse immediately.
It is tragic that none of the Independents do not pull the pin on this most appalling of Governments and send this nation into a deep consideration of its political landscape. It is tragic that support has not been withdrawn of this Government and the message sent to the Australian people that our Government cannot be trusted, that the darkest chapter in contemporary Australian political history must cease and that future governments must consider humane policies and the common good foremost. May any future election diminish the ALP to such an extent that a message is sent by the Australian people that they all governments clearly understand in what we expect of them.
Gerry Georgatos - 0430 657 309
Statement below from Shadow Minister for Multicultural Interests John Hyde. Question Without Notice copied and pasted into this email:
Question On Notice No. 5781 asked in the Legislative Assembly on 22 June 2011 by Mr J.N. Hyde
Question Directed to the: Minister for Corrective Services
Minister responding: Hon D.T. Redman
Parliament: 38 Session: 1
In relation to the Minister’s denial in Question on Notice No. 5151 that the Minister and his Department have received no advice regarding the validity of bone-testing, triple-testing, or any other age determining processes regarding Indonesian or other prisoners, I ask:
(a) since the election of the Barnett Government, has the Minister, or any Minister for Corrective Services or the Department received advice from the Inspector of Custodial Services, or any other sources, including reports by Independent Prison Visitors, on the validity of bone-testing, triple-testing, or any other age determining processes?
Answered on 9 August 2011
(a) The response to Legislative Assembly question on notice 5151 was incorrect. Records have been located which indicate that since late 2010 concerns from a variety of sources regarding the validity of bone-density testing have been received by the Department of Corrective Services (DCS). Specifically, the Inspector of Custodial Services wrote to the DCS on 22 November 2010 expressing his concern as to the risks posed by the apparent uncertainty of bone-density testing, citing advice he had received from experts from the University of Western Australia. This concern was also noted by an Independent Prison Visitors Report provided in relation to Albany Regional Prison for the month of April 2011.
In response to the Inspector's concerns, and given that the DCS is bound by documentation supplied by Federal authorities, the Commissioner DCS sought and received formal advice from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on the validity of the testing. AFP advice was that wrist x-ray results have been successfully relied upon in a number of Commonwealth prosecutions, with only one instance known to have been successfully challenged in relation to age determination concerns.
Statement below from Hon. Alison Xamon to Hon. Simon O'Brien on 17 May.
Extract from Hansard
[COUNCIL — Tuesday, 17 May 2011]
Hon Alison Xamon; Hon Simon O'Brien
PEOPLE SMUGGLING — DETAINEES AWAITING TRIAL
3779. Hon Alison Xamon to the Minister for Finance representing the Minister for Corrective Services
I refer to the answer to my question without notice on 24 March 2011, and I ask —
(1) Can the Minister please confirm whether the age of any of the detainees currently awaiting trial or
sentencing for so-called, ‘people smuggling’, offences is currently under dispute and specifically
whether the nature of the dispute is that the detainee is in fact a juvenile?
(2) Can the Minister please confirm whether the test used to determine age as described in the answer to
my question of 24 March, is currently under dispute as the best test to determine age?
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN replied:
(1) As advised in the response to Legislative Council question without notice 206 on 24 March 2011, in
instances where the age of a suspect comes into question, bone density age verifications are undertaken
prior to arrest. The Department relies upon this information, as well as relevant documentation supplied
by the courts, to ensure remanded prisoners are at least 19 years of age or older. Where a prisoner (or
their representation) makes a claim to be underage after they are received into the custody of the
Department of Corrective Services, the Department takes action to reconfirm their age with the
Australian Federal Police (AFP). As at 18 April 2011, none of the information provided to the
Department by AFP or the courts indicates that any prisoner currently being held on remand for people
smuggling charges is under 19 years of age, therefore there are no current disputed cases of age in
relation to 'people smugglers'.
(2) The Department cannot comment on the validity of the current testing procedures as it is bound by the
documentation provided by the Commonwealth Courts and the AFP when receiving Federal prisoners.
Therefore, it is respectfully suggested such confirmation be requested from these agencies.
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Minister admits misleading Parliament over children bone testing
Corrective Services Minister Terry Redman admitted he misled Parliament by claiming the Barnett Government had not been informed of doubts over the accuracy of bone testing of Indonesian children held in WA adult prisons, Shadow Multicultural Interests Minister John Hyde said today.
Mr Hyde said in May this year, the Minister stated in Parliament he and his department had received no advice on the validity of bone testing, triple testing or any other age-determining processes on alleged Indonesian child prisoners.
“This week, the Minister admitted in Parliament records have been located that show since late 2010, a variety of sources expressed concerns to the Department of Corrective Services regarding the validity of bone-testing,” Mr Hyde said.
“The Inspector of Custodial services wrote to the Department in November 2010 expressing concerns about the apparent uncertainty of bone-testing, citing advice he had received from experts at UWA.
“The Minister also admitted an independent prison visitors report, provided in relation to Albany Regional Prison for the month of April 2011, expressed similar concerns.
“Bone-testing is fraught with scientific doubts in determining the age of non-Caucasian children and many experts have informed the Barnett Government they were locking up Indonesian children based on flawed evidence that they were adults.”
Mr Hyde said it was standard practice to return under-aged children found to be crewing boats chartered by people-smugglers to Indonesia and the Barnett Government needed to ensure that all of the estimated 16 Indonesian children currently held in adult WA prisons are returned.
“The Minister and his Government repeatedly claimed bone-testing was valid evidence that these children were adults – now we know that advice was deeply flawed,” Mr Hyde said.
JOHN HYDE MLA
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CULTURE AND THE ARTS; PLANNING; HERITAGE; MULTICULTURAL INTERESTS; CITIZENSHIP
GERRY GEORGATOS, Convener, Human Rights Alliance
PhD Law researcher Australian Deaths in Custody
Contact: 0430 657 309 - firstname.lastname@example.org