Tony Kevin will speaking on SIEVX in Sydney this evening at a Refugee Action Committee meeting.

Details: Monday, 2 December, 6.00pm at Teachers Federation,
23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills
(near Central Station and you can usually get street parking near the Teachers Federation building).
Organiser : Ian Rintoul, mobile 0417 275 713

Main themes:

Forthcoming release on 1 January of people smuggler Abu Quassey who organised the doomed SIEVX voyage. Quassey is deeply implicated in homicide of 353 asylum-seekers on 19 October 2001 when their sabotaged boat (which he helped to organise, with undisclosed others including some Indonesian police) sank in international waters south of Indonesia on route to Christmas Island.

AFP testified in July it was preparing a homicide case against Quassey and therefore AFP refused to give any information on SIEVX to Senators.

But AFP now says it has no plans to try to extradite Quassey for homicide "because of the lack of ability to prove jurisdiction".

The reality is that AFP has flip-flopped. It is not seriously trying to extradite Quassey for homicide which is an extraditable offence from Indonesia, because AFP fears that Quassey's testimony in a homicide case could spill the beans on AFP's people smuggling disruption program in Indonesia in 2000-2001 and how criminal actions encouraged by this program caused the deaths of 353 people.

If Quassey walks free on 1 January, he will carry with him the dirty secrets of Australia's people smuggling disruption program and how it killed hundreds of people. This case of mass murder will be much harder thereafter to prosecute without this key witness.

No wonder the AFP refused two weeks ago to admit to Senators whether it gave tracking devices to its Indonesian police disruption agent colleagues - this is how the 44 SIEVX survivors were so easily located , 50-65 miles south of Indonesia.

The fingerprints of Australia's people smuggling disruption program are now all over SIEVX - but does anyone care?

Will the Australian Senate protest against this criminality that goes to the heart of the AFP? The Senate has just two sitting weeks left before Christmas - what are the Senate's options to put real pressure on the government to hold Quassey in detention, as a key witness in 353 political murders on Australia's watch?

Does anybody in politics in Australia still care about establishing accountability for these 353 political killings - or is it only those acts of indiscriminate political terrorism directed against Australians that our authorities care about bringing to justice ? What has happened to the impartiality of our system of justice?

Don't the families of 353 drowned asylum-seekers deserve something better than this from Australia ? IS AFP to be allowed to get away with this travesty of justice ?

Tony Kevin

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