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8 June 2012
Four Indonesians released from Australian jails
A further four Indonesians will be released from Australian jails and returned to Indonesia, following a review of their cases by the Australian Attorney General’s Department. The latest releases are in addition to that of three other Indonesians last month as part of the same review.
Australian policy is to repatriate minors caught in people-smuggling ventures, unless they return on a second venture. Since September 2008, a total of 147 Indonesian nationals have been returned to Indonesia on the basis that they were likely to be minors at the time of their offence. Fifty six have been returned since 8 December 2011 because they were assessed to be a minor, given the benefit of the doubt by law enforcement authorities, or found by a court to be a minor.
In addition, the Australian Government has identified 28 cases of suspected minors convicted of people smuggling offences and incarcerated in Australian jails. These cases are being reviewed at the request of Australia’s Attorney General Nicola Roxon following domestic and international appeals from the Human Rights Commission and Indonesian authorities, including Foreign Minister Dr Marty Natalegawa.
The current releases involve Indonesians convicted of people-smuggling offences who claimed at some point to be minors, even if they subsequently told the court they were adults.
Individuals are considered for release based on further information from Indonesia and elsewhere if that raises doubt about whether they may have been a minor at the time of the offence.
Two of the four are being released because new information raised sufficient doubt about their age at the time of arrest. The others, who have also received the benefit of doubt about their age when intercepted, are being released early after nearly completing their non-parole periods.
Sanchi Davis, A/g Counsellor (Public Affairs) tel. (021) 2550 5260 mob. 0811 936 302