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Thursday, 3 May 1984
Page: 1557


Senator HARRADINE —My question, which has serious implications for human rights in this country, is directed to the Minister representing the Special Minister of State. It relates to those Australians of Indo-Chinese origin who travelled to Canberra on 15 March 1984 for a peaceful demonstration against repressive acts of the Vietnamese authorities or government internally and in Kampuchea. Is it correct that these people were stopped by 15 to 20 carloads of police on the Hume Highway at Craigieburn on the northern perimeter of Melbourne? Is it correct that they were subjected to body searches, photographed and required to fill in forms which included questions about their level of education, prior military service and religion? Is it correct that the search extended even to children under nine years of age whose shoes and even nappies had to be removed? Were Australian Federal Police or officials in any way involved? If the police concerned were all Victorian police, were they acting on behalf of the Commonwealth Government, the Commonwealth police, or any department or agency of the Commonwealth Government?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I do not have answers to the honourable senator's questions . I will seek them as soon as possible from the Special Minister of State.