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Wednesday, 16 June 2004
Page: 24024

Senator Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 18 May:

With reference to the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and, in particular, to the quote attributed to the director of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mr Pierre Kraehebuehl in the Wall Street Journal that `concerns ... were regularly brought to the attention of the coalition forces throughout 2003': (a) which concerns were brought to the attention of the Government or any of its agencies; and (b) when.

Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The ICRC did not bring any concerns about the treatment of Iraqi detainees directly to the attention of the Government or any of its agencies. ICRC reports regarding the condition and treatment of detainees in Iraq have not been given to Australia. ICRC reports were provided on a confidential basis to the detaining powers, that is the United States and the United Kingdom. This is the standard practice of the ICRC.