afp should stop aiding and abetting the death penalty

Tuesday, 19 April 2005 NSWCCL media release: 3/2005


NSW CCL President, Cameron Murphy, today called for any evidence collected in raids in Australia to be withheld from Indonesian authorities until the Indonesians agreed not to pursue the death penalty for nine Australians arrested in Indonesia yesterday. 

Nine Australians, arrested in Indonesia with the help of the Australian Federal Police, face very serious charges of trafficking heroin in Indonesia. Given the serious nature of the allegations against the nine, it is quite likely they will face the death penalty if convicted. 

"This is outrageous," said Mr Cameron Murphy, President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties. 

"According to media reports, these Australians were either about to board a plane for Australia or were due to do so within 24 hours. The Australian Federal Police should have arranged for the suspects to be arrested in Australia - where they would not face the barbaric death penalty," Mr Murphy said. 

"The Justice Minister is wrong to say that these matters are solely Indonesian matters and that Australia cannot get involved. Australia is already involved - the AFP worked closely with Indonesian police to secure the arrests of these nine suspects. It's too late to say that Australia cannot get involved. If these Australians are put before a firing squad, it will be because the AFP helped to put them there. It is not appropriate for Australian taxpayers' money to be used to put people in front of firing squads," Mr Murphy said. 

"I also understand that houses in Australia have been raided by AFP agents as part of this investigation. Any incriminating evidence collected should not be shared with Indonesian authorities until the AFP has an iron-clad guarantee from Indonesia that these nine young people will not face the death penalty," Mr Murphy said. 

"The AFP have been doing the same thing in other countries in our region. In Vietnam, AFP intelligence has led to one Australian being sentenced to death, while three others await trial and a possible death sentence. When will this madness end?", Mr Murphy asked. 

"The appropriate thing to do is to halt all cooperation with other police forces in the region until procedures can be put in place to ensure that Australian intelligence and Australian resources will not be used to put people in front of firing squads. Australia should not be aiding and abetting the barbaric death penalty," Mr Murphy said. 

For more information contact: 
Cameron Murphy, NSWCCL President, 0411 769 769