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Thursday, 20 September 2007
Page: 188

Mr Melham asked the Minister representing the Minister for Justice and Customs, in writing, on 14 June 2007:

(1)   What specific inquiries have been undertaken by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in respect of allegations that Mr Mamdouh Habib was subjected to torture or inhumane treatment while he was detained in (a) Pakistan, (b) Egypt and (c) United States military custody.

(2)   What is the outcome of any inquiries made by the AFP.

Mr Ruddock (Attorney-General) —The Minister for Justice and Customs has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

(1)   It is not the AFP’s role to monitor the treatment of persons in custody whilst overseas. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides a range of assistance to Australians detained overseas to help ensure their welfare is protected. However, on rare occasions, including in Mr Habib’s case, where foreign authorities have not allowed DFAT to conduct consular visits to an Australian detainee, Australian security and law enforcement officials have assisted in providing DFAT with information regarding the detainee’s welfare obtained during interviews with the detainee. Any complaints made by Mr Habib to AFP members were forwarded to DFAT.

(2)   Not applicable.