Australia: Stop carrying First Nations kids in cages

A police 'cage' in the Northern Territory

This article is republished from the Koori Mail, a mainstream newspaper operated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

The article quotes heavily from Amnesty International Australia, a mainstream NGO. However, it gives important information about police repression in the Northern Territory and New South Wales. We republish it below in full:

“PRESSURE is mounting on police to stop transporting young people in cages in the Northern Territory and to stop targeting Aboriginal young people for strip-searches in NSW.

Police have come under fire from Amnesty International Australia for transporting children in so-called police cages – a ute with a cage on the tray covered with a tarpaulin.

Amnesty has investigated numerous reports of children being transported, unrestrained, in the cages for journeys of up to five hours.

Amnesty’s Indigenous rights advisor Rodney Dillon said it was shocking and inappropriate way to transport children.

“Without cooling or heating, these kids suffer in the elements. Treating children like this is against international standards and transporting people in motor vehicles without seatbelts is against Australian law,” Mr Dillon said.

“But when we raised it with the Government, they said they weren’t worried about it.

“It’s not good enough, it’s totally unnecessary and we need the Northern Territory police to stop doing it immediately.”

He said whistleblowers who had contacted Amnesty about the issue had asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the authorities.

In Australia children as young as 10 are locked up in detention and on remand…”