Wednesday, 19 June 2024  
How many of the 1500 asylum seeker lives lost at sea since 2001 could have been saved?
Zahra (6), Fatima (7) and Eman (9) - the daughters of Sondos Ismail and Ahmed Alzalimi -  three of the 146 children who lost their lives when the vessel that has become known as SIEVX foundered in international waters en route to Christmas Island on 19 October 2001.
   SIEVX Comment
   The Disaster
   Abu Quassey
   Khaleed Daoed
   Maythem Radhi
   People Smuggling
   Not the First?
   Two Brothers
   CMI Index
   Hansard Extracts
  SIEV 358-Kaniva
  SAR 2012/5710
  SAR 2013/3821
Search with Google

The 'Olong', aka SIEV4 -  with 223 passengers
146 children

142 women

65 men


This boat is not SIEVX.
SIEVX was smaller & carried nearly 200 more passengers.

We Could Have Him!

by Marg Hutton
28 January 2003

Four weeks after Abu Quassey's release from Jakarta's Cipinang prison, diplomatic wrangling continues behind the scenes between Indonesia, Australia and Egypt to decide the fate of the self-confessed people smuggler and organiser of the fatal SIEVX voyage.

Articles in today's SMH, Age and Jakarta Post bring into sharp relief the difference in attitude to Quassey between Canberra and Jakarta.

Jakarta correspondent, Matthew Moore writing for the Fairfax papers, implies that Indonesia is being difficult and is on the verge of deporting Quassey to Egypt where he will likely avoid extradition to Australia. Moore suggests that this may be due in part to Indonesian displeasure regarding the frustration of their efforts over a number of years to extradite Hendra Rahardja who died recently in Australia. It would appear that Justice Minister Ellison has encouraged this analysis.

However, the Jakarta Post provides a somewhat different perspective. It does not mention the Hendra Rahardja matter at all and instead provides new information sourced solely from the Indonesian Justice and Human Rights Minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra.

In a key paragraph the Jakarta Post quotes Mr Mahendra as saying that Quassey could be deported to Australia. '[I]f Australia demanded [that Quassey] be deported directly to Canberra, "we would have to consider the request seriously."'

Significantly the Jakarta Post differentiates between deportation and extradition and points out Quassey could not be extradited directly to Australia because there are no legal grounds to do so.

In contrast, the Age article quotes Justice Minister Chris Ellison - 'Government officials are investigating all possible avenues to secure Abu Quassey's prosecution. The government does not intend to foreshadow the steps it is taking to bring Abu Quassey to justice.'

According to the Jakarta Post article the only step needed is for the Justice Minister to pick up the phone and ring Jakarta. If Ellison is serious in his professed determination to have Quassey appear before an Australian court he will request that Indonesia deport Quassey to Australia.

In any event, it appears that a decision will not be made for another fortnight, by which time AFP Commissioner Keelty will be due to appear before Senate Estimates to answer further questions on matters that will likely include Quassey and SIEVX.

If Quassey manages to slip the net through extradition to Egypt then this will be a huge public embarrassment for Senator Ellison and the AFP and can only fuel speculation that Australia has something to hide in regard to SIEVX.

The fact that Quassey is still in immigration detention almost a month after his release from prison indicates that the pressure of the Senate 'Quassey motion' and the intensive lobbying by SIEVX activists over the last two months has been very effective. ( 8492) | ©Copyright Marg Hutton ~ / 2002-2014