NATION UNITED IN GRIEF FOR MS DHU
DICWC WA Will Keep Barnett to his Word on Indigenous People in Custody
A day of action against Aboriginal deaths in custody saw rallies take place across Australia, and Western Australian premier Colin Barnett address the Perth crowd.
In WA, 300 people gathered in Perth, with 200 people at Geraldton and 70 in Hedland. The rallies made national news as well as segments on all state TV channels.
In Perth, campaigners and supporters arrived at the meeting point to hear that an Aboriginal man had died in Casuarina prison the previous night. This gave even more urgency to the demands for justice in the march up Hay Street mall through the city centre, culminating at Parliament House.
Barnett expressed his condolences to Ms Dhu’s family and made promises to get to the truth of what happened. “The full truth will come out, I will make sure of that.” Yet he was adamant that an independent inquiry would not be necessary.
The Deaths in Custody Watch Committee WA together with the family of Ms Dhu have written to the Premier requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the families concerns and measures to address deaths in custody including significantly reducing the incarceration rate of imprisonment of Aboriginals women, men and young people.
In addition to an independent inquiry into South Hedland police and Hedland Health Campus, the Dhu and Roe families are calling for an end to imprisonment for non-payment of fines; a 24-hour mandatory custody notification service; 24-hour medical coverage at all lock-ups; independent oversight of all lock-ups in the state; and justice reinvestment into communities, not prisons.
Read the full media release at http://www.deathsincustody.org.au/mediarelease24oct2014