Monthly Archives: February 2013
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Refugee Convention and the Convention on the Rights of the Child have all been created to protect the rights and freedoms of every single human being equally.
This discussion acknowledges that there a broad range of issues within our community that cannot be compromised or ignored. However the rights of asylum seekers and refugees cannot be held in competition with these other important issues. As Australians we have an obligation to participate and influence the decisions of our leaders, but perhaps more importantly we have an even higher obligation as human beings to one another.
To take the first class of Lessons Overboard head over to the online classroom at www.lessonsoverboard.com
A list of questions has been sent to The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and answers will be published when a reply is received.
In relation to Ben Zygier – aka Ben Alon or Ben Allen (known in the media as Prisoner X) can DFAT please provide answers to the following questions? I am aware and respect there are some limitations relating to the privacy act and the need for intelligence agencies to maintain the confidentiality of some information. I would most appreciate if a question cannot be answered that the reason for it not being answered can be highlighted.
1. On what date was DFAT first made aware of the arrest and detention of Ben Zygier or an Australian known under any of the aliases known to be used or associated with Prisoner X.
2. When was the then Minister for Foreign Affairs notified of the imprisonment?
3. What efforts did DFAT undertake to contact or visit Mr Zygier, as is outlined under The Consular Services Charter?
4. As stated under the The Consular Services Charter was Mr Zygier given access to a list of local lawyers?
5. What undertakings did DFAT seek from the Israeli authorities as to the treatment and well-being of Mr Zygier?
6. When was DFAT notified of the death of Mr Zygier, has DFAT reviewed the circumstances of the death and if mistreatment was a potential cause of the death of an Australian?
7. Is DFAT aware of any other Australian agency contacting or visiting Mr Zygier while he was in Israeli detention?
I thank you for taking my question and await your reply,
Senior Advocate – Foreign Prisoner Support Service