THE HUMAN RIGHTS ALLIANCE MEDIA RELEASE:
http://www.thewire.org.au/audio/WWindoprison.mp3 (ABC radio interview)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvkSjO_byLg (DRUM interview)
The HRA has put out a call for a long overdue National Inquiry into the Commonwealth of Australia's incarceration of children in Adult Prisons - under age Indonesians, impoverished children, near one hundred, probably more than 100, with the AFP confirming at least 60 'age disputes'.
A Forum, recently on August 15, in Sydney, at Amnesty International Offices, organised by Indonesian Human Rights Advocates, and heavily attended by Human Rights Clinics and Legal Clinics and Lawyers has generated tremendous support. I have been called by the Australian Human Rights Commission who are considering calling for a National Inquiry, by various Legal Clinics who wish to make pro-social submissions to amend People Smuggling Legislation and who like us are now calling for appropriate age-determination protocols.
I have put out a call to the Australian Greens Senators to rise to the occasion and ensure questions in the Senate regarding the fact that the Commonwealth of Australia has incarcerated children in our adult prisons. It appears that finally the Australian Greens Senators may do so - this morning I spoke at length with Senator Hanson-Young's Office and with prominent Greens around the country. The questions are long overdue. The excuses for the silences are not just thin, they are inexcusable. With the questions there must be throughcare to outcomes, the Senators and various agencies must persist ongoing questions and strong monitoring and input various demands all along the journey - including the reasonable demand to place these young folk at least in the predicament of Bail.
Only the AFP has demonstrated (to me) any forthright comment and honesty in the facts of the matters at hand, however from Ministers and Government Departments, and similarly from our political leaders and the majority of our parliamentarians, we have an endemic passing of the buck. I have called and written to the Office of the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police for the AFP and Commissioner Keelty to lead the way. I believe that the AFP wants to ensure that they are not complicit in charging children as adults. One AFP Officer from WA appeared quite distressed at this prospect and indeed hoped that protocols are tabled so as to remove this prospect.
We are working on a register of the age-disputes so as to move to the prospect, in the event the wheels of justice slow to a grind, that some of us will head to Indonesia to aggregate admissible evidence to displace the presumption of evidence from the wrist bone age scan and can work en masse rather than piecemeal to help these children towards their due freedom.
Gerry Georgatos - 0430 657 309
PhD Law Researcher, Australian Deaths in Custody
Convenor, Human Rights Alliance
http://www.theage.com.au/national/jailing-of-boys-an-abuse-of-rights-201... (In this article both myself and Sarah Hanson-Young have been quoted about the Indonesian children in Australian adult prisons...)
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/48139 - The story of Hadi Kurniawan.