Alison Whittaker writes in The Conversation (15.4.21) about the failings of official inquest and investigation processes for Aboriginal deaths in police custody, on the thirtieth anniversary of the 1991 Royal Commission report into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
‘Five Aboriginal people have died in custody in the last month in Australia.
‘It’s been 30 years since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody examined 99 deaths between 1980 and 1989 and made over 30 recommendations into how deaths in custody should be investigated.
‘A government-commissioned review of the royal commission’s recommendations declared many had been implemented — but critics reject that characterisation as “misleadingly positive”.
‘On the ground, little has changed — 474 Indigenous people have died in custody since the report was handed down.
‘… Inquests are central to the violence of deaths in custody. For some who lose their loved ones in custody, they are a site of justice and change; for many, they are a site of fresh administrative violence.
‘Communities and families continue to push for justice, despite the immovable barriers placed in their path and even when, 30 years on from the royal commission, accountability for any death in custody seems distant or almost impossible.’
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- Thirty years on, our people still die in custody. This is why »
- Aboriginal lives ought to matter not only when we die, but while we are alive »
- Real action needed on Aboriginal deaths in custody »
- ‘We’ve fallen down’: Patrick Dodson 30 years on from Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody »
- ‘I want to break that cycle’: the relatives still fighting for justice over deaths in custody »
- Indigenous deaths in custody have received just a fraction of the media coverage of the death of an elderly prince »
- Families, politicians say not enough has changed 30 years on from Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody »
- Australia has shown it’s not serious about empowering Indigenous people. Now our voices must be heard »
- Thirty years on, I sense the same storm brewing around Aboriginal deaths in custody »
- Not criminals or passive victims: media need to reframe their representation of Aboriginal deaths in custody »
- 30 years on: Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody recommendations remain unimplemented »
- The families of Indigenous people who die in custody need a say in what happens next »
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- Indigenous death in custody at Cessnock continues spate across Australia »
- Aboriginal families condemn Scott Morrison for ‘ignoring’ deaths in custody crisis »
- There’s a link between the over-policing of Indigenous kids and our people dying in custody »
- Dozens of unanswered questions: inquest attempts to unravel the death in custody of Wayne Fella Morrison »
- Aboriginal deaths in custody body not established »
- ‘This case is tragic’: Zachary Rolfe is cleared and an Aboriginal family left with questions »
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- What happened to the Senate inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women?
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