World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Political Leaders Oppose Howard Govt On Siev X

Political Leaders Oppose Howard Government On Siev X

The sinking of SIEV X on 19 October 2001 was the decisive moment in Australia's ruthless border protection war against asylum-seekers in August-October 2001. The appalling number of deaths on SIEV X - 353, including 146 children and 142 women - ended the people-smuggling trade to Australia, and cemented John Howard's re-election three weeks later as Australia's Prime Minister.

But after the election Prime Minister Howard faced a new leader of the Labor Opposition. Simon Crean was prepared to ask tough questions which led to the CMI (Certain Maritime Incident) Senate Inquiry and the expansion of the inquiry to include the tragedy of SIEV X.

Earlier this year the leader of the Australian Labor Party posted an historic condolence message on the internet at JANNAH THE SIEV X MEMORIAL.

"The death of 353 people, mostly women and children, on the SIEV X was a shocking tragedy. The Labor Party joins with others in expressing our deepest sorrow and regret that this event occurred, particularly so close to Australia. It is a reminder that the evil trade in people smuggling is dangerous and unpredictable. Together we must work harder to put an end to people smuggling, and to hold those responsible for the SIEV X sinking accountable. This episode only strengthens our resolve to ensure that international human rights are respected and upheld". ~ Simon Crean, Leader of the Opposition

Crean's words are prescient now, as Quassey's trial - which should properly be seen as of major international human rights significance - gets underway in Cairo. The two other opposition party leaders in the Australian Senate, Senators Andrew Bartlett and Bob Brown, posted similarly sincere and thoughtful messages to "Jannah".

"I extend my deepest sympathies and regrets to all the families and friends of the 353 SIEVX victims. But I reserve my gravest concerns for the 40 survivors; these people survived the ordeal at sea, and now have to live with the horrific memories. It is a reminder that we should never forget the human impact and the suffering that can occur as a consequence of our inactions". ~ Senator Andrew Bartlett, Leader of the Democrats.

"May such a gross tragedy never happen again. And may those seeking a peaceful life, like the life we love here in Australia, find the security and happiness that was so wrongfully denied to the SIEVX victims". ~ Senator Bob Brown, Leader of the Greens.

The SIEV X investigation is far from over. Hard questions continue to be asked by Opposition parties in Australian Senate investigative committees about possible Australian government agency implication in this still mysterious tragedy. The trial of Abu Quassey (Mootaz Muhammad Hasan) in Cairo is another step on the long and tortuous road to the full truth about the sinking of SIEV X.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>