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Greens move for inquiry into Indonesian boy put in West Australian adult prison

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 19 Apr 2012

The Australian Greens have announced that when parliament resumes in May they will move for an inquiry into the case of an Indonesian boy who has been jailed alongside adults in a maximum security prison in Western Australia.

"We need to learn why Ali Jasmin was put in an adult jail despite documentation showing he was a child and how many other young people are in the same position," Greens' immigration and youth affairs spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

"We know many other children have been detained without charge, some for over 300 days. How is it that we can be getting it so wrong? That's why we need this inquiry to find that out.

"A birth certificate exists showing Jasmin was 13 when first detained by Australian authorities for cooking on a boat. Authorities failed in their duty of care to him by relying on discredited wrist x-rays to determine his age.

"There has been an injustice done to this child and I urge both sides of politics to join the Greens in resolving it. I've written to the government urging the Attorney-General and Home Affairs Minister to immediately examine the circumstances surrounding Jasmin's arrest, prosecution and jail.

"It is supposed to be Australian government policy that Indonesian minors who crew asylum boats are not charged but send home.

"The government must explain why this boy was not given the benefit of the doubt when government agencies were presented with a copy of his birth certificate and why this documentation was not presented in court when determining his age.

"We would not accept this for an Australian child here in Australia, nor if they were in Indonesia. The rights of children are universal. What has happened to Jasmin would be unacceptable to an Australian child, and is equally unacceptable to an Indonesian child."

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