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Friday, 2 December 1983
Page: 3240

Senator MISSEN —My question, which is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, relates to Press reports emanating from the Indonesian Press on the continuing killing of suspected criminals by para- military death squads. Will the Minister comment on these most recent reports and, in particular, the claim by one well placed source that some 1,400 known or suspected criminals have been executed by para-military squads which have the support of several government and military officials? Because of the renewed reports appearing in the Indonesian Press, I ask the Minister: Firstly, what details does the Government have of these most recent extra-judicial killings; secondly, will the Government express to the Indonesian Government the concern of the Australian people about these brutal executions and ask that urgent action be taken to prohibit the continuance of such abhorrent and inhumane practices?

Senator GARETH EVANS —It is difficult for anyone not to feel concerned about the reports which have been emerging from Indonesia and to which Senator Missen referred. But, as to the detailed substance of his question and the nature of the Government's reaction, I think it preferable to refer the matter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs for detailed reply which I will undertake to produce as soon as possible.