'Catching up' on some items that Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) has been involved in over the last few weeks.
We are still awaiting word from the NSW Attorney-General, Brad Hazzard, as to his decision on the 33 year old death in custody of Eddie Murray who was murdered by 4 police officers in a Wee Waa cell back in 1981. The children of Arthur and Leila Murray, or at least those present, were able to put their long-held concerns to the Attorney-General after Ms. Anna Murray asked Brad Hazzard to read aloud her statement. That heart-felt statement allowed for some of the 33 year frustrations of never being interviewed by the police, or others, to be made known. Tears flowed and, I believe, there was a familial closeness reached that had not been there before.
Brad raised what he saw as three possible barriers to the case being re-opened and they were: one of the police officers has since died but it was raised that three still remain alive and must face justice; The case was 33 years old and it would be very difficult to find any evidence to assist in reaching a just conclusion but it was told that 'Cold Cases' that have reached satisfactory legal conclusions were sometimes 50 or even a hundred years old; Two of the witnesses had deceased but again it was replied that other witnesses to the crime of a savage racist murder were still very much alive and willing to testify to the events of that day. The Attorney-General is waiting for family reports to be made available to him.
The Murray family and ISJA look forward to justice being finally done soon.
your call, Brad.
The brutal assault by Redfern police to Ms. Kathryne Fisher when they forced their way into her home continues, albeit at a slow place. Kathryne is now suffering further injuries as a direct result of that police assault. An official complaint by a statutory declaration accompanied by dedicated medical evidence was presented to the redfern police and a police investigator, Detective Inspector Adam Barwick, was appointed to study the merits of the complaints made.
After a few months Kathryne received a letter, signed by Commander Luke Freudenstien, that the police investigation into the Redfern police actions complained of had no merit and the matter was now closed. Well, it may be closed by Commander Freudenstien but it is far from closed by Kathryne who is currently in discussion with an eminent legal friend to allow the matter to be taken to court.
The assault by Det. Sgt. Solah arose from the police interest in apprehending Duane Captain who is living in Kathryne's house. Solah and other police officers arrived at her home and in their haste to enter her home Solah shoved Kathryne against the door jamb that not only injured her spine but also severely exacerbated the damage to her knees when she fell upon them. No warrant was produced but under NSW law currently none is required. The police only need to have a suspicion that a person of interest is in the residence. The current terror laws will only exacerbate the thuggery of police entry.
Duane Captain was involved in the Kings Cross incident when the Kings Cross police had wilfully and recklessly fired six shots into the car of which he was a passenger.
The wounding and thuggish assault against the 14 year old driver and the front seat passenger, both of whom had been wounded, forced the police into a softly, softly approach when charging the six youth in the stolen car. In fact it is my strong belief that the 14 year old driver actually died twice and he is very, very lucky to be alive today. Both of the wounded youth have ongoing medical, physical and emotional problems arising from their wounds.
It seems that the police are now on a mission to locate the six youth involved in some form of a vigilante payback. the story continues.
On Tuesday, 16th I was invited to Macquarie University to hear, and participate in, a presentation from the now un-gagged Lex Wotten on the events surrounding the killing of Mulrunji Doomadgee by then Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley in November, 2004. joining Rex was the French Anthropologist Professor Barbara Glowczewski who had worked with Lex on a book telling Lex's story. the book is called 'Warriors for Peace' and you can download it for free at http://eprints.jcu.edu.au/7286/
It came as no great surprise to the audience when Lex explained that the police evidence used in court to convict him and send him to gaol was a complete fabrication and totally based on lies. Police lies on oath. As usual. The truth of the matter was that Lex was attempting to bring some calm to the situation. The police media beat-up, repeated in court, was that the officers feared for their very lives. This was just another blatant lie as Lex explained the true circumstances of the events of that night the civil unrest occurred. No police officer, no nurse, no one was in threat for their life at any stage. Lex and Barbara will be travelling to get the truth out and I strongly urge those with a passion for truth to attend.
I did ask Lex one question and it is a question that has been troubling me for too many years.
There were four deaths on palm island arising from the brutality of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley towards Mulrunji Doomadgee when in an effort to gain total compliance from Mulrunji, Hurley knee-dropped onto his abdomen that then broke 4 ribs, ruptured his spleen and nearly cleaved his liver in two. Hurley was a giant of a man whilst Mulrunji was of a much smaller stature. He was dragged into a cell and died in agony, ignored by Hurley and the other police on duty at the time. Not too long after this event Mulrunji's mother died in grief. This was an unnatural natural causes death. two more deaths, however, were to follow and neither could be termed a natural death.
Eric, the teenage son of Mulrunji was found hanging from a tree outside the family house. It was stated that upon the death of his father he had gone into a deep depression as both father and son had been very close. Another suggestion was that he had taken his own life to escape the tortuous saga of the qld police union, the Qld DPP and the Qld government attempting to shut the investigation down and exonerate Hurley. There was a further report, however, that linked young Eric as being seen in deep conversation with a police officer who described himself as 'Hurley's good mate' earlier that afternoon. We put this aside for one moment.
The fourth death was that of Patrick Bramble who had been in the Palm Island police station the night that Mulrunji was brought in by Hurley. He was very drunk and was sitting on a chair at the far end of one of the offices. He could not see directly into the hallway where Mulrunji and Hurley were struggling. The only thing he directly was able to see was the pumping action of Hurley's arm moving up and down and Hurley's voice saying over and over, "Have you had enough, Mr Doomadgee, have you had enough." The arm movement was proved in court to be Hurley punching Mulrunji as he laid senseless on the floor. That is all Patrick spoke of in the first inquest. But, in fact, Patrick, though drunk had observed much more than he was saying.
At the hallway end of the office where Patrick was sitting there was a large round convex mirror on the wall that allowed the hall to be visible within the office and the office from the hallway. Patrick had seen what had happened between Hurley and Mulrunji. Patrick was far too in fear of the police to tell of what he had witnessed. That convex mirror was later removed from the wall and some 20+ police swore that it had never been there on the night Mulrunji died. The fight for justice and for Hurley to face a court of law then reached an interesting stage. Community and public pressure had forced the Qld government and the DPP to back down and for an eminent interstate justice to come in and review the case and decide if Hurley should go to court or not.
And so it was that Sir Lawrence Street arrived on the Island to look at the evidence and interview witnesses. Tragically it was found that Patrick had committed suicide the previous night. Witnesses reported that the last time they had seen Patrick was the early evening prior when he was seen in a police car being driven out of the township. And the driver of this police car was none other than Hurley's good mate!
I fully expected that the Qld State Coroner would have immediately called for both these alleged suicides to come before him for a full investigation as to the true circumstances of those deaths. In NSW, all suicides are automatically put before the coroner to be able to ascertain if, perhaps, foul play had been involved but to the best of my knowledge, and this was confirmed by Lex, no coronial inquest has ever been held into either death. Why? and why not?
Somebody on Palm Island needs to raise this issue of seeking the truth of what happened on the nights both died and, further, what was the involvement, if any, of Hurley's good mate as he had been witnessed talking to both prior to their suicide?
Justice is still a commodity in very short supply on Palm Island!
For those who may wish to read more on these events I direct you to the www.isja.org site where the five isja newsletters, djadi-dugarang, on this issue are available for your perusal.
The last catch-up relates to the success of the 2nd Aboriginal Passport Ceremony that was held, as was the first, at the settlement and we much appreciate their support in allowing us to use their event-friendly spaces.
Some 75 supporters came and a goodly number of Passports were issued.
Speakers included myself and Raul as well as representatives from asylum and refugee groups who I will not name.
Refugees from a large range of asylum seeker countries joined in, some acquainting us with their sorry tales of bastardisation by Australia's federal governments.
The solemn part of the event was in presenting the family of Hamid Kersai a passport in memory and respect of his death arising from a complete lack of medical care on Manus Island. Morrison and his henchmen in the Department of Un-Immigration will never wash off the stain of death that they collectively caused to hamid. We held a minutes silence for his death and also for the murder of the Iranian asylum seeker on Manus Island recently. May they walk their lands in peace.
A further APC may be held 2016.
Indigenous Social Justice Association
Prix de l'Homme de Francais
(French Human Rights Medal 2013)
(m) 0450 651 063
(p) 02 9318 0947
1303/200 Pitt Street Waterloo 2017