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10th anniversary of Australia’s Apology to the Stolen Generations, yet deaths in custody continue

10th anniversary of Australia’s Apology to the Stolen Generations, yet deaths in custody continue

In the wake of a second Aboriginal death in custody in Townsville in less than six months Queensland Greens MP Michael Berkman and Queensland Senator Andrew Bartlett are calling on the Queensland Premier to immediately implement all the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

“Two Aboriginal deaths in custody in the same area in less than six months is gut wrenching and disgraceful”, said Queensland Greens Senator, Andrew Bartlett.

“Aboriginal people make up about three percent of the population yet account for over 25 percent of all deaths in custody. Aboriginal people have rightly never forgotten the appalling mishandling of the death in custody on Palm Island in 2004. It is very understandable if they fear justice will not be done in regards to any other deaths in police custody in Townsville.

“The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody delivered its report over 25 years ago but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are still dying at inexcusable rates after coming in contact with police or the prison system.

Mr Berkman said “the Queensland government knows what it needs to do to stop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people dying - they need to implement the recommendations.

“When a young man was tragically killed on a night out in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, laws were changed almost immediately.

“But Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to die at shameful rates and the Queensland Government’s silence is deafening.

“The Queensland Labor Government will be happy to pose for photo opportunities at today’s 10 year anniversary of the apology to the Stolen Generations.

“They will do this while continuing to ignore the recommendations that would put an end to the sickening injustice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s deaths in custody.

Until the Labor Government fails to implement all the recommendations they should be held responsible for every death in custody.”

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