The Australian Greens have today written to the Attorney-General and Home Affairs Minister urging they immediately examine the case of an Indonesian boy who has been jailed alongside adults in Western Australia and audit prisons to find similar cases.
"This injustice must be remedied because Australian authorities had Ali Jasmin's birth certificate all along but it was never given to a court when determining his age," Greens' immigration and youth affairs spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.
"Instead of acting in Jasmin's best interests, the Australian agencies apparently ignored proof he was a child and let him be prosecuted and then jailed in an adult prison in Western Australia alongside dangerous offenders.
"The federal government must immediately examine the circumstances surrounding Jasmin's arrest and prosecution based on the revelations by journalist Hamish McDonald and aired this week by The Project.
"The government should consider granting Jasmin a pardon so he can be returned immediately to his family in Flores.
"We know there have been at least 25 convictions since September 2008 of Indonesians who crewed asylum seeker boats and told Australian authorities they were minors. These convictions must be reviewed without delay.
"My Fairness for Minors bill, currently before parliament, would stop cases such as Jasmin's from recurring by establishing clear guidelines for authorities to follow when the ages of boat crew are in dispute.
"We again call on the government to act on the advice of numerous child, human rights and legal experts who support my bill and change the law.
"Australians were rightly shocked when an Australian teenager was recently jailed in Bali and demanded he be brought home. Jasmin deserves to be sent home to be with his family, not serving a mandatory sentence
in an adult prison in WA.
"He should never have been charged in the first place because he is a child, and it is meant to be the Gillard government's policy to return minors to Indonesia without charge."