Australia: Government’s response to death penalty inquiry keeps door open to future Bali Nine-type executions

2 March 2017, 10:35 UTC | Australia
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The Australian Government has failed to commit to reforms that would prevent a future Bali-Nine situation, Amnesty International said.  

Today Australia handed down its response to the report of the Parliamentary inquiry into the role Australia can play to abolish the death penalty worldwide.

"It is extremely disappointing that the Government did not take this opportunity to ensure a Bali Nine-type situation never happens again." 

Guy Ragen, Government Relations Adviser at Amnesty International Australia

"It is extremely disappointing that the Government did not take this opportunity to ensure a Bali Nine-type situation never happens again”, said Guy Ragen, Government Relations Adviser at Amnesty International Australia.

The Parliamentary Committee recommended that the Australian Federal Police should be required to withhold giving information to other countries in relation to drug crimes unless they can obtain a guarantee the death penalty will not be applied.

“The Government had an opportunity to accept this recommendation and ensure that never again would information from Australian law enforcement facilitate the use of the death penalty”, said Guy Ragen.

“Unfortunately, the Government didn’t pick up this recommendation.”

“This is unfortunate, particularly as Australia has made a number positive commitments in response to the inquiry. The Government's announcement that Australia is going to have a strategy to guide its advocacy against capital punishment in our region and around the world is strongly welcomed.

"The death penalty is always wrong. It is a cruel and inhuman punishment. As a nation, we recently marked 50 years since the last execution in Australia. But this response leaves open the door for information from Australian law enforcement being used to see people - Australians included - executed overseas.

"As a country, we have to ask ourselves if this is consistent with our principled opposition to the death penalty."

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