Following the release of the Western Australian State Coroner’s findings in the inquest into the death of Ms Dhu, an Aboriginal woman who died while in police custody in August 2014, Amnesty International Indigenous Rights Advisor Rodney Dillon said:
“Amnesty International pays respects to Ms Dhu’s family and acknowledges their pain, suffering and anguish since her passing.”
“Ms Dhu’s death was preventable. She was failed by the police, and she was failed by the health campus.”
“Ms Dhu’s death was preventable. She was failed by the police, and she was failed by the health campus.
“When a worker dies on a building site and their death was preventable, people are held to account, as they should be. Why, when an Aboriginal person dies in custody, are no individuals held to account? Someone must be held to account for Ms Dhu’s death.
“How many more recommendations do we need before we put an end to deaths in custody? Some of these recommendations were made 25 years years ago by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. If they had been followed, Ms Dhu would not have died. Instead, her family have had to grieve for more than two years while they waited for justice.
“It’s the right thing that State Coroner Fogliani agreed to release the video footage showing how she was treated. It’s what the family requested. But one thing nobody will see on that video is justice.
“The Western Australian Government and the opposition must commit to full implementation of the recommendations by Coroner Fogliani, including recommendations regarding a custody notification service, not locking people up for fine default and cross-cultural training.”