Question on Notice

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Chamber

Senate



Question Number

2626



Parliament

44



Notice Given

20 November 2015



Question on notice no. 2626

Senator Scott Ludlam

Attorney-General

Notice given 20 November 2015
Answer Provided 04 February 2016  (available as pdf )



Senator Scott Ludlam: asked the Attorney-General on 20 November 2015:

With reference to Australian Government assistance provided to the Sri Lankan Criminal Investigation Department (CID) :

(1) Can the Attorney-General confirm that Australia, via the Australian Federal Police (AFP) , has provided the CID with equipment, as revealed in an ABC 7.30 report on 3 August 2015; if so:

(a) on what date did the assistance begin;

(b) what kind of equipment has been provided by the Australian Government to the CID; and

(c) can the Attorney-General provide an itemised list of the equipment provided.

(2) Is the Department aware of the credible allegations of human rights abuses - physical and sexual torture as well as forced extrajudicial incarcerations and killings - committed by the CID throughout the period Australia gifted them equipment.

(3) Noting that, the CID is widely recognised to be involved in the abduction, disappearance, abuse and torture of Sri Lankans, was any kind of assessment undertaken, before the equipment was provided, about its use for abusive practices; if so, have follow up reviews taken place.

(4) Has the AFP ever received reports and/or similar alerts from staff working in Sri Lanka that the CID may be involved in abuses.

(5) Given the ongoing and credible allegations of torture surrounding the CID, and considering the need to work with regional partners to improve their human rights record, does the AFP believe there is justification for ongoing cooperation with, and supplying equipment to, the CID.

(6) Are there any guarantees or reporting requirements concerning the manner in which Sri Lanka uses the equipment given.

(7) Freedom of Information documents procured by the 7.30 program, and confirmed in a response to 7.30 by the AFP, note that one of the things provided to CID was a white van; is the AFP aware that 'white vans' are the single most powerful image of successive Sri Lankan governments' campaign of extrajudicial killings, kidnapping and torture.

(8) Does the Department think it is appropriate for Australia to provide the CID with a so-called 'white van'.