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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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The 'Olong', aka SIEV4 -  with 223 passengers
146 children

142 women

65 men


This boat is not SIEVX.
SIEVX was smaller & carried nearly 200 more passengers.

Get Ready For The Ministry Of Truth

by Marg Hutton
3 January 2003

Sometime in the next few days Abu Quassey will board a plane to Egypt - the only question is will it be a flight that takes him out of reach of Australian authorities or will it include a stopover in a country that has an extradition treaty with Australia so Interpol can arrest him?

Whichever way it goes, get ready to hear from Senator Ellison and the AFP that this is good news - the gates have snapped open, the hare has been released and the chase that they have been promising us in such farcical terms for the last week or two can now begin.

But when Quassey boards that plane it will mean that not only is he leaving Indonesia, but he is also flying away from any chance that he will ever be brought to court over his part in what Democrats Leader, Senator Bartlett has described as the SIEVX 'mass killings'.

Quassey - a man who has publicly admitted to a key role in organising the deadly SIEVX voyage - will walk away from all accountability for these deaths after serving just six months for a minor immigration offence.

Should Quassey's flight to Cairo go via a country without an extradition treaty with Australia (eg Saudi Arabia) then the spin doctors in Indonesia and Australia will have a much harder task than if Quassey is able to be picked up on an Interpol warrant in Singapore or Bangkok. How will they convince the Australian public that they are not quietly celebrating the hare slipping through the net and so avoiding his public testimony that would most likely link the Australian People Smuggling Disruption Program to the sinking of SIEVX?

But even if Quassey is picked up at an airport under an Interpol warrant and placed in jail awaiting an extradition order this will not be any kind of victory. Recent examples of Australia's efforts to extradite other people smugglers (1, 2) show that it takes at least 8 months for an extradition case to be heard in a foreign court, then appeal processes draw it out even longer. In the best case scenario, Quassey would not arrive in Australia before 2004. With time needed for preparation of a people smuggling case, there will be at least 18 months for anyone in Australian agencies who was complicit in the SIEVX deaths to cover their tracks and move on, so avoiding being brought to account.

The inevitable claims by Senator Ellison and the AFP that they are proving Australia has nothing to hide through their vigorous pursuit of Quassey will be nothing more than a hollow sham. ( 8194) | ©Copyright Marg Hutton ~ / 2002-2014