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All Indonesian children should be removed immediately from adult jails and detention facilities

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 26 May 2012

The Australian Greens have today called on the government remove all young Indonesians from adult facilities until the review is completed or their correct ages are determined.

"The risk of further damage to at least 22 children whose cases are being reviewed is far too great," Greens' immigration and youth affairs spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

"The revelations by Fairfax that another boy has been prosecuted and convicted as an adult is but the latest example in this international scandal involving Australia's treatment of Indonesian children

"It appears Sam is yet another child whose protests about being a minor have been ignored by Australian agencies, just as they did with Ali Jasmin who was last week reunited with his family in Indonesia.

"Numerous Australian agencies had Jasmin's birth certificate which proved he was a child, but allowed him to be prosecuted and charged as an adult.

"This week I learned in Senate estimates hearings that the 22 Indonesian minors whose cases are being reviewed are still being treated as adult prisoners.

"Every young Indonesian who case is being reviewed should not be in an adult prison or similar facility but should urgently be moved into facilities appropriate for juveniles. All teens accused of being boat crew should be kept together in one location so they can support each other.

"The government should not be leaving these young Indonesians in adult facilities when there is a chance they are children.

"Australians would not tolerate this for Australian teenagers in Indonesia, and nor should we tolerate it for Indonesian teens here.

"The Greens have created a Senate inquiry which will get to the bottom of how up to 60 Indonesian children accused of being asylum seeker boat crew have been detained as adults.

"This inquiry will work out what went wrong with the checks and balances we are constantly told are in place were clearly not triggered before three Indonesian children spent unnecessary years in prison.

"These three were returned to Indonesia earlier this month after reaching their parole periods, but their cases were not reviewed nor did the Australian government apologise or offer compensation."


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