Held Hostage

Held Hostage

Government's response to kidnapping of Australian citizens overseas

25 November 2011

© Commonwealth of Australia 2011
ISBN 978-1-74229-552-7

View the report as a single document - (PDF 681KB)

View the report as separate downloadable parts:

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Members of the committee (PDF 41KB)
Acronyms and Abbreviations (PDF 8KB)
Executive summary and recommendations (PDF 20KB)
Chapter 1 - Introduction (PDF 29KB)

Conduct of inquiry
Scope of inquiry

Part I - Background
Chapter 2 - Background (PDF 81KB)

Kidnapping worldwide
Australians kidnapped overseas

Chapter 3 - Recent cases (PDF 47KB)

John Martinkus
Douglas Wood
Nigel Brennan

Part II - Response to kidnapping incidents
Chapter 4 - Australia's no-ransom policy (PDF 74KB)

The rationale for the no-ransom policy
Support for the no-ransom policy
Position of other governments
Constraints on the government's response to kidnappings
Communicating the no-ransom policy

Chapter 5 - Options and decisions—paying a ransom (PDF 57KB)

Difficult decisions
Paying a ransom and advice to families

Chapter 6 - Response team and interagency coordination (PDF 80KB)

Consular Response Group (1996)
Inter-Departmental Emergency Task Force
Family views on the response
Managing a hostage crisis
A specialist unit in DFAT

Chapter 7 (PDF 96KB)

Respect for the work of government officials
Consular services
Communicating and liaising with families
Proposed written guidelines

Chapter 8 - Post crisis support (PDF 61KB)

Support for Mr Martinkus
Support for Mr Brennan
Benefiting from the experiences of former hostages

Chapter 9 - Public commentary and media coverage (PDF 43KB)

Previous experience
Current approach to media
Criticisms of DFAT's media policy
Public statements

Chapter 10 - Legal implications of negotiating and paying a ransom (PDF 75KB)

United Nations
Australia's compliance with UN conventions and resolutions
Paying a ransom and the law
Defences and likelihood of prosecution
Need for criminal offences relating to the payment of a ransom 

Part III - Post resolution procedures
Chapter 11 - Lessons to be learned and the McCarthy review (PDF 42KB)

Lessons learned exercise
McCarthy review
Review of the review

Appendix 1 (PDF 8KB)

Public submissions

Appendix 2 (PDF 7KB)
Public hearings and witnesses
Appendix 3 (PDF 14KB)

Additional information, tabled documents, and answers to questions on notice

Appendix 4 (PDF 28KB)
List of reported kidnapping incidents overseas involving Australians since 2001
Appendix 5 (PDF 12KB)
Terms of Reference for the Independent review of the Nigel Brennan kidnapping in Somalia (McCarthy review)

For further information, contact:

Department of the Senate
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3535
Fax: +61 2 6277 5818
Email: fadt.sen@aph.gov.au