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How many of the 1500 asylum seeker lives lost at sea since 2001 could have been saved?
Zahra (6), Fatima (7) and Eman (9) - the daughters of Sondos Ismail and Ahmed Alzalimi -  three of the 146 children who lost their lives when the vessel that has become known as SIEVX foundered in international waters en route to Christmas Island on 19 October 2001.
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Abu Quassey, self admitted organiser of the SIEVX voyage, in which 353 people lost their lives  
What is Australia doing to bring this man to justice?

Abu Quassey - the organiser of the fatal SIEVX voyage on which 353 people lost their lives - due to be released from prison in Indonesia on 1 January after serving a 6 month sentence for minor immigration offences.
We say to the AFP and the Australian Government - this is the real test of your sincerity in regard to SIEVX. Bring Quassey to justice in Australia for his part in the mass killings of those on board the SIEVX. If you have nothing to fear from Quassey's evidence in an Australian court and what he might reveal about the Australian People Smuggling Disruption Program in Indonesia then you will find a way to bring him here.

Kevin Claims SIEVX 'Pre-emptive Strike'

8 December 2002

The article below, by Tony Kevin, first appeared in the ABC's 'Public Record' on 6 December.

Australia has already launched pre-emptive strikes on the territory of countries in our region, without the knowledge or permission of those countries' governments, against activities our government deemed were hostile to Australia's national security interests.

I refer here to the Australian Government's clandestine and ultimately highly lethal people smuggling disruption program in Indonesia, that was formally launched in September 2000, by directive of the Minister for Customs.

This secret program operated initially under the nominal cover of an Australian-Indonesian Protocol for police cooperation against people smuggling, although this activity is not a crime under Indonesian law.

The Indonesian Government revoked that Protocol on September 12 2001, but the Australian Federal Police maintained its clandestine cooperation with the selected Indonesian police units it had trained and bribed during the first year of the program, until the program was formally re-launched after the Bali People Smuggling Conference in February 2002.

Under the program, three AFP liaison officers operated out of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta with the ambassador's knowledge and protection. Other Australian agencies eg DIMIA, ASIS, may have also been involved.

The program subverted selected Indonesian police to mount disruption operations against people smuggling voyages. These operations went far beyond "innocent" intelligence gathering and public information to discourage passengers. It included the active setting up of "sting" companies - purported shipping companies which mounted phoney voyages, defrauded asylum-seekers of their savings under the false pretences that guaranteed safe voyages to Australia were being sold, and then disabled and even sank boats. The objective was to discredit the people smuggling industry and deter its customers.

There was some loss of life, even before SIEVX.

The deliberate sinking of SIEVX on October 19 2001 with 353 lives lost was the major and decisive disruption operation. It broke the people smuggling industry by showing that there was a preparedness to take utterly ruthless pre-emptive action - mass murder - to deter further such voyages.

There is mounting circumstantial evidence that Abu Quassey, the self-confessed organiser of this grossly overloaded voyage, worked in collusion with Indonesian police units to organise it at a time of peak pressure on Australia's border protection objectives.

These may have been the very Indonesian Police units the AFP disruption program liaison officers had motivated and trained since 2000, though there is as yet no conclusive proof of this.

Quassey is due to be released on January 1 2003 after serving a short sentence on passport-related offences. So far there is no sign that the Australian Government is seriously trying to persuade the Indonesian Government to hold him in custody until he can be extradited to Australia on homicide-related charges. This can only fuel the well-founded suspicion that Quassey and his Indonesian police partners had some form of direct or indirect working association with the AFP people smuggling disruption program in Indonesia.

The indiscriminate politically motivated killing of 353 people mostly women and children counts as ruthless pre-emptive action in anybody's language.

Evidence is mounting that Australian Government agencies had some direct or indirect association with this great crime. The test now of the Australian Government's bona fides in this very grave matter will be how seriously it pursues bringing Abu Quassey to justice for the premeditated deaths of 353 people. Abu Quassey may be the key to this story.

Other SIEVX Related News

  • ALP gets asylum policy nearly right ~ Michael Gordon, 7 December 2002 (Age)

    [W]hy has not a single boat landed on the Australian mainland since August last year... Is it because 354 people perished in the SIEV-X tragedy last October, or because four boats were successfully returned to Indonesia after being intercepted, or because of covert efforts to disrupt the people smugglers? ( 7954) | ©Copyright Marg Hutton ~ / 2002-2014