Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. On the night of Monday, 17 February, a young man, Reza Berati, from Iran, was beaten to death on Manus Island while in the care of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. My question is: has the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection contacted Mr Berati's family personally and has he apologised to his relatives?
I thank Senator Hanson-Young for her question. The Minister for Immigration has put on the record the condolences of the government in relation to the death of this person. This is, without a doubt, a tragic situation. Senator Hanson-Young is also aware, through copious questioning of the government through the estimates process, that both the PNG and Australian governments have commissioned reviews into the events of Sunday, 16 February, and Monday, 17 February, at the Manus offshore processing centre.
I can advise the Senate that the PNG authorities, with assistance from Australian specialists, have conducted an autopsy in Port Moresby. The deceased's next of kin have been advised and the Australian government is assisting the family in repatriating his remains and personal effects.
As I stated, this is a tragedy, and the Minister for Immigration has put on the record the condolences of this government.
This is a question that Senator Hanson-Young also asked at the recent Senate estimates hearing. The response that was given at the Senate estimates hearing has not changed. Senator Hanson-Young will be aware that both the PNG and Australian governments have commissioned a review into the events of Sunday, 16 February, and Monday, 17 February 2014, at the Manus Island processing centre. We are currently awaiting the outcome of the review.